Pennsylvania’s Child Safety Seat and Seatbelt Laws

Pennsylvania’s child safety seat laws and the penalties of a violation.

Pennsylvania's passenger safety laws apply to drivers, front-seat passengers, and child passengers. But the type of safety device required varies depending on the child's age and size. This article outlines the seatbelt and child safety seat requirements for Pennsylvania.

Child Seat Requirements

In Pennsylvania, the driver is liable for any child restraint violation. The requirements even apply to taxi drivers, so taxis can refuse service if parents don't have proper safety seats for their children.

Children under two years old. Children under two years old must be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system (an infant seat and rear-facing harness). A child under two years old is permitted to be forward-facing if he or she exceeds the manufacturer's recommendations for rear-facing seats.

Children under four years old. All children under four years old must be in a passenger restraint system. Depending on the child's size, this rule might require using an infant seat or a rear- or forward-facing harness.

Children under eight years old. A child who's at least four but less than eight years old must use a properly adjusted seatbelt and booster seat. A forward-facing seat will also suffice as long as the height and weight limits are not exceeded.

Violation. Failure to properly secure a child will result in a $75 fine for the driver. The court will dismiss the charge if the driver shows proof of acquiring a proper car seat.

Seatbelt Violations

Pennsylvania requires seatbelts to be used for all drivers, front-seat passengers, and passengers under 18 years old. A seatbelt violation carries a $10 fine.

Recommendations

To promote child safety, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PDOT) has established programs to educate the public on car seat safety and even provide loaner seats if available. While not compulsory, PDOT issued the following suggestions.

From birth to two years old: Rear-facing car seat

From three years old to t

Birth

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13+

Rear-facing

Forward-facing

Booster

Seat Belt

Registration

While most car seats are federally approved, it's a good idea to register your car seat to be notified regarding recalls.

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