Oregon car seat laws have undergone a few recent changes. So, you’ll want to keep reading to understand how to best protect your child while driving. Under Oregon’s state law, any child aged less than sixteen years old needs to be correctly secured with a child safety seat, safety belt, or a child safety harness.
Those items must meet the requirements set out by the Department of Transportation whenever your child rides as a passenger in a vehicle, especially while on the freeway. If your child is older than sixteen years old, then he or she must use a safety harness or a safety belt.
To better understand Oregon car seat laws, we’ll cover new additions made to those laws covering babies and children up to two years old, the current requirements for children between three and seven, booster seat laws, child safety harness laws for children between seven and fifteen, and safety belt laws for children older than sixteen. In Oregon, these age requirements can vary depending on the height and weight of your child. So, we’ll cover those additional requirements below, too.
Infants and Toddlers Up to Two Years Old
A new law started in 2017 that changed the requirements in Oregon covering car seat laws for all infants under the age of two years old. Under the new law, children that are less than two years old must be in a rear-facing car seat.
That law applies regardless of how tall they are, or how much they weigh. Previously, the car seat laws in Oregon had an age limit that let babies that are under two years of age, but that had reached a particular weight to ride in a front-facing car seat. However, since the law changed in 2017, all babies under the age of two must now ride in a rear-facing car seat.
Other Additions to the Original Law
Also, Oregon’s new car seat law requires that children, regardless of their age or height, must ride as a passenger in a rear-facing, DOT-approved car seat if they are under twenty pounds. So, if your baby is older than two-years-old but still under twenty pounds, he or she must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
Furthermore, if your baby is under twenty pounds but over the age of two years old, he or she must ride in a rear-facing car seat. Only children that are older than two years of age and over the weight of twenty pounds can ride as passengers in a front-facing car seat.
Children Between Twenty and Forty Pounds
When your child is two-years-old and weighs more than twenty pounds but is less than forty pounds, you must then place your toddler in a DOT-approved car seat that faces the front of the car. Under the new Oregon state laws, any child, no matter what his or her age is, must be in the right type of car seat until he or she reaches forty pounds. Front-facing car seats can only be used for toddlers that are older than two years and that weight more than twenty pounds. However, these children cannot weigh more than forty pounds.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Directions
On top of this, all car seats used for children that fall into this category must be used by following the manufacturer’s directions exactly. That means you must ensure that you’ve set-up the car seat properly. You also need to ensure that everything is securely fastened everything into place.
If you are unsure about how to install your baby’s car seat, you can take your car seat to your local police or fire station, and they will instruct you. The session will be free of charge. By the time you leave, you’ll know how to use your car seat correctly. They will even install your car seat properly for you to ensure the safety of your child.
So, you must make sure that you follow the directions provided by the manufacturer and correctly install the car seat into the vehicle. You must also correctly use the straps on your child. For anybody that’s worried or unsure about those directions, seek help at your local police station or fire department.
Children Between Three and Eight that Weigh Forty Pounds or Less
Any child that is aged between three to seven years old and that weighs less than forty pounds needs to be correctly secured in a child safety system. Depending on the age and weight of your child, you may be using either a rear-facing car seat or a front-facing car seat.
Children that weigh forty pounds or less need to ride in an approved car seat for that age. If your child is between the ages of three and seven, over the weight of forty pounds, and up to 4’9” tall, then you must use a child safety system that is designed for a child that is that height or shorter. If your child meets all three of these requirements, then you can use a front-facing car seat, a booster seat, or a safety seat with a harness. Whichever one you use will depend on your child’s size.
If you decide to use a booster seat at this point, then you’ll need to make sure that your booster seat also meets the new state laws. Booster seats are appropriate for children that weigh more than forty pounds and are under 4’9” tall or the age of eight years old.
The booster seat must either have a high back or allow the child to sit comfortably while he or she is strapped in using a traditional seat belt. Once your child reaches forty pounds and is over eight years of age, or grows over the height of 4’9”, you can use a regular seat belt. However, once your child is ready for a regular seat belt, you should still keep him or her riding in the backseat at all times for your child’s safety.
So, your child will need to pass all three requirements, meaning those of age, weight, and height, to no longer use a car seat or booster seat. Also, if you are going to use a booster seat, you need to make sure it’s utilized each time correctly. So, you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s directions properly. Of the children that died in Oregon car crashes, many of them were not restrained at all or restrained improperly in their booster seats or car seats. So, ensuring this will help keep your child safe.
If you aren’t sure about how to install your child’s booster seat or use that booster seat correctly, you can make a trip to your local fire department or police department for assistance.
Children Eight to Fifteen and Over 4’9” Tall
Children that fall between the ages of fifteen and eight, and that are taller than 4’9”, need to be correctly secured using a safety belt or a safety harness.
Children Sixteen to Seventeen Years Old
Children that are aged sixteen or seventeen years old must also use a safety belt or safety harness.
Fines for Violating the Law
If you violate the child car seat law in Oregon, you’ll receive a fine for a Class D traffic infraction that totals $115.00