Kentucky’s Child Safety Seat and Seatbelt Laws

Kentucky’s car seat laws and the penalties of a violation.

Kentucky requires all vehicle passengers to use a seat belt but also imposes special rules for children riding in vehicles. The specifics of these rules depend on the child’s age, weight, and height. Below is an overview of the requirements and penalties associated with Kentucky’s child restraint laws.

Child Seat and Seatbelt Requirements

Kentucky’s child restraint laws apply to all vehicles designed to carry 15 or fewer passengers, excluding motorcycles and registered farm trucks.

Height 40 inches or less. Children who are 40 inches tall or shorter are required to be properly secured in a child restraint system (typically, meaning a forward- or rear-facing car seat) per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in a $50 fine but no court costs or driver’s license points.

Height 40 to 57 inches. Children between 40 and 57 inches tall are required to use a booster seat so they properly fit a lap and shoulder belt. A child who’s at least eight years old is not required to use a booster. Booster seat violations will result in a $30 fine but no court costs or license points. For a first offense, the driver can avoid a conviction by obtaining and installing a booster seat.

Seatbelts. Generally, all passengers riding in vehicles made after 1981 are required to wear a seatbelt. Failure to do so carries a $25 fine but no court costs or license points.

Recommendations

While not mandatory, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety has provided recommendations to promote child safety.

Under One Year

One to Eight Years

At Least Eight Years

Under 20 pounds

Rear-facing car seat

Rear-facing car seat

20 to 40 pounds

Rear-facing car seat

Convertible or forward-facing car seat

Booster seat

40 to 80 pounds

Booster seat

Seatbelt

More Information and Resources

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 be notified regarding recalls.

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