Vermont has child safety seat and seat belt requirements that generally apply to all children. Drivers are responsible for ensuring all child passengers are properly secured. The type of restraint required by law varies depending on the age, weight, and height of the child and the guidelines of the child seat manufacturer.
Child safety seat requirements. Under Vermont 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. Vermont law provides a few specifics on what type of seat children must use. Children who are younger than one year old or weigh less than 20 pounds must be in a rear-facing child seat. Children weighing at least 20 pounds and who are at least one year old can use an appropriate child seat (other than a rear-facing seat), which would be a forward-facing or booster seat depending on the size of the child. Children who are at least eight years old can use a standard seat belt.
Vermont law generally allows children who are at least eight years old to use a normal seat belt.
Vermont law doesn't specifically prohibit children from sitting in the front-seat area of a vehicle.
A child safety seat or child restraint violation carries fines of $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense, and $100 for a third or subsequent offense.
For more information about child safety seats and inspection events, you can go to the Department of Motor Vehicles 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.