Ohio’s Child Car Restraint and Seatbelt Laws

Ohio’s child restraint system and seatbelt requirements and the penalties for a violation.

Ohio’s child restraint law requires children younger than eight years old to be secured in a child restraint system. However, the law provides exceptions for certain types of vehicles and situations.

Here are the basics of the law and penalties for a violation.

Child Restraint System Requirements

Ohio requires that drivers use a child restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle standards and are installed and attached securely according to the seat manufacturer instructions. Children who are younger than four years old or weigh less than forty pounds must be restrained by such a system. Children who are younger than eight years old and less than four feet nine inches tall must use a booster seat.

Can I Be Pulled Over for a Child Restraint Violation?

Ohio’s law authorizes law enforcement to pull over drivers they suspect are violating the child restraint law only if law enforcement believes a child is less than four years old and is not properly restrained. Otherwise, officers can cite drivers for child restraint violations only if the stop is for another traffic offense like speeding or running a red light.

Exceptions

Ohio’s child restraint law doesn’t apply to a person who’s transporting a child using public transportation like a taxi, school bus, or emergency vehicle.

Additionally, the law doesn’t apply when an emergency exists that threatens the life of any person driving or occupying the car used to transport the child who should normally be restrained under the law.

Ohio also provides a medical exception to the child restraint law. If a physician determines that the use of a child restraint system would be impractical or impossible for the child due to a physical impairment, the driver doesn’t have to follow the child restraint requirements. However, drivers must still follow whatever recommendations the physician makes on how best to secure the child.

Penalties

A driver will be looking at the following fines and possible jail times for violating the child restraint law.

Fine

Jail

First offense

$25 to $75

None

Second or subsequent offense

Up to $250

Up to 30 days

Child Car Seat Recalls

From time to time, recalls are issued for child car 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.

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