Ensuring maximum safety while transporting your little ones is always of utmost importance, and an essential part of that involves adhering to car seat laws. Each state has its own regulations designed to protect children in vehicles, and Arizona is no exception.
These specific laws provide guidelines for height, weight, and proper seating positions when traveling with infants or toddlers – all vitally important factors closely linked with minimizing any risk during unforeseen traffic incidents. If you’re traveling with children, make sure you know the following laws. In the unfortunate case of an accident, our Mesa car accident lawyers can help.
All children under the age of 5 must use an appropriate car seat or booster for their age and size. This could include infant seats, convertible seats, forward-facing seats, or other federally approved safety devices.
“Except as provided in subsection H of this section, a person shall not operate a motor vehicle on the highways in this state when transporting a child who is under five years of age unless that child is properly secured in a child restraint system.”
If your child is younger than 8 years old and shorter than 4 feet, 9 inches, they must also be placed in an appropriate car seat.
“The operator of a motor vehicle that is designed for carrying ten or fewer passengers, that is manufactured for the model year 1972 and thereafter and that is required to be equipped with an integrated lap and shoulder belt or a lap belt pursuant to the federal motor vehicle safety standards prescribed in 49 Code of Federal Regulations section 571.208 shall require each passenger who is at least five years of age, who is under eight years of age and who is not more than four feet nine inches tall to be restrained in a child restraint system.”
If you’re found not adhering to Arizona’s child seat rules, be prepared to encounter a civil penalty of $50.
However, there’s some leniency, as the law is really focused on prevention and safety rather than punishment. If the penalized individual can provide sufficient proof that they’ve equipped their vehicle with an appropriate child restraint system – like a receipt demonstrating a recent purchase of an approved car seat sent through the mail to the court involved – then this penalty will be waived.
“A person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of $50, except that a civil penalty shall not be imposed if the person makes a sufficient showing that the motor vehicle has been subsequently equipped with a child restraint system that meets the standards adopted pursuant to subsection C of this section. A sufficient showing may include a receipt mailed to the appropriate court officer that evidences purchase or acquisition of a child restraint system.”
These laws are so important to follow; according to data shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 3 child passengers lost their lives daily in vehicle crashes during 2021, and 445 were injured each day. This is distressing enough, but even more startling is that 40% of these children were traveling without any sort of restraint at the time of the collision.
If you have questions or need help, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free consultation.