Connecticut has child safety seat and seat belt requirements that generally apply to all children. Drivers are responsible for ensuring children who are under the age of 16 years old are properly secured. The type of restraint required varies depending on the age, weight, and height of the child and the guidelines of the child seat manufacturer.
Child safety seat requirements. Under Connecticut law, children who are younger than eight years old generally must be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat that meets federal standards. (Federal law sets the safety requirements for all types of child safety seats.)
Type of car seat. Generally, there are three types of child safety seats: rear-facing, forward-facing, and boosters. Connecticut law requires children who are younger than two years old or weigh less than 30 pounds to be in a rear-facing seat. Children who are between the ages of two and five years old or weigh between 30 and 40 pounds must be in a rear- or forward-facing child seat. Children who are between the ages of five and eight or weigh 40 to 60 pounds must be in a child safety seat or booster seat. Children who are at least eight years old or weigh 60 pounds or more can be in a child safety seat or booster seat or use a seat belt.
Connecticut law generally allows children who are at least eight years old or weigh 60 pounds or more to use a normal seat belt.
Connecticut law prohibits seating a child in the front seat area of a vehicle in a rear-facing seat if the vehicle is equipped with passenger-side airbags that are activated.
A child safety seat or child restraint violation is an infraction for a first or second offense. A first violation carries a maximum fine of $100 and a second offense carries a fine of up to $199. First and second violators must complete a child safety seat course. Violators who don't complete the course as required face license suspension.
A third violation is a class A misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,000 in fines.
A child safety seat or child seat belt conviction will result in two traffic violation demerit points.
For more information about child safety seats, you can go to the Safe Kids Connecticut website. Also, recalls are occasionally issued for child safety seats. To find out about recalls, you can register with the NHTSA to receive recall information about the seat you have or search for recalls that have already been issued.