Colorado’s Child Safety Seat and Seatbelt Laws

Colorado’s car seat laws and the penalties for a violation.

To reduce the number and severity of injuries to children in collisions, Colorado requires the use of federally-approved child restraint systems. These requirements differ based on the age and weight of the child. Below is an overview of the requirements as well as penalties and exemptions.

Infants

Until a child reaches one year old or at least 20 pounds, he or she must be rear-facing in an infant seat or convertible car seat. A rear-facing child can’t be seated in the front seat of a vehicle.

Toddlers

Once a child is 20 pounds and at least one year old, he or she can use a forward-facing car seat or a forward-facing convertible seat. This requirement extends until the child is four years old or at least 40 pounds.

School-Age Children

All children who are younger than eight years old must be properly seated in a child restraint system. So, kids who are over 40 pounds or at least four years old must use a booster or forward-facing seat. Children who are eight to 15 years old must wear a seat belt.

Violations

Failure to properly restrain a child is a class B traffic infraction, which typically results in a $65 fine, and a $16 surcharge. However, the court will waive the fine if the offender shows proof of obtaining a proper car seat.

For offenders who are under the age of 18, a child restraint violation is a class A traffic infraction. A conviction will result in two driver’s license demerit points as well as:

  • 1st $65 fine, $16 surcharge, and eight to 24 hours of community service.
  • 2nd $130 fine, $16 surcharge, and 16 to 48 hours of community service.
  • 3rd $195 fine, $16 surcharge, and 16 to 48 hours of community service.

Acquiring too many demerit points can result in license suspension.

Exemptions

Vehicles used to transport persons for medical emergencies are exempt from the child restraint requirement. Commercial vehicles used by childcare centers, such as buses, are also exempt.

Recalls & Recommendations

For more information about child restraint systems, check the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control. It’s also a good idea to register your car seat to find out about recalls.

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