We’re in the heart of the 100 most dangerous days on Idaho roads, due to increased travel. Now’s a good time to remind Idahoans about car seat and seat belt laws to keep your kids and grandkids safe while traveling around town or on road trips.
Car Seat Safety
Did you know that in the state of Idaho, all children six (6) years of age or younger must be properly secured in a child safety restraint that is federally approved?
Here’s how to buy a car seat that can be installed and used correctly every time, and make sure the car seat is the right fit for your vehicle. These are the three primary types of car seats for different stages of a child’s life.
Rear-Facing Car Seats
There are three main types of a rear-facing car seats, and the law requires that children under the age of one (1) must be placed in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat — never the front seat. It has a harness and, in a crash, cradles and moves with your child to reduce the stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord.
Forward-Facing Car Seats
Children from one (1) to four (4) years of age (typically 20 to 40 pounds) can be placed in a forward facing car seat with harness straps that position on the child’s shoulders. There are several types of forward-facing car seats that have a harness and tether that limits your child’s forward movement during a crash.
As your child grows, they may be ready for a booster seat. Children four (4) to six (6) years of age must be placed in an approved booster seat using both a lap and shoulder belt combination in the back seat of the vehicle if a back seat exists.
When researching and shopping for booster seats, there are several types to look for. A booster seat allows the seat belt to be adjusted so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body.
Other Child Safety Seat Recommendations
- Never place a rear-facing infant seat in the front seat of a vehicle with an active front passenger side airbag.
- Children under 13 years of age should never be placed in front of an airbag, in particular they shouldn’t sit in the front seat.
- It is always safest for children to ride in the back seat of the vehicle if one is available.
Adults: Idaho Seat Belt Laws
- In the state of Idaho all vehicle passengers are required to wear safety restraints.
- Drivers and passengers cited for a violation of the Idaho Seat Belt Law may receive a $10 citation.
- An adult driver may be ticketed for passengers under the age of eighteen (18) that are not properly restrained.
- If the driver is under the age of eighteen (18) and the driver or any passenger under the age of eighteen (18) fail to wear a seat belt, the $10 ticket and court costs will total $51.50.
Seat belts really do save lives! They should lie across the upper thighs and be snug across the shoulder and chest to restrain you and/or your child safely in a crash. It should not rest on the stomach area or across the neck or face.