Understanding the Law for Car Seats in Colorado

August 3, 2022 - 2:49 pm - 4 min read
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Whether you’re a Parent, grandparent, or caregiver in Colorado who constantly drives with young kids in the car, it’s crucial to understand the law regarding car seats. The reason being that a safe driving experience relies significantly on the safety of your passengers.

In this article, we take a deep dive into the Colorado car seat law to highlight the rules and requirements that parents must follow to ensure that their kids ride safely.

What is a car seat?

A car seat is a piece of safety equipment that a child uses as a restraint device to hold back the child in case of an accident or collision. Car seats must adhere to safety regulations that ensure children are safe and secure while in the car.

When is a child required to sit in a car seat in Colorado?

Colorado law requires that all children under eight years old ride in an appropriate child safety restraint system while in a motor vehicle. The restrictions are set for the children’s safety as they aren’t yet big enough to use a seatbelt.

Moreover, as per the Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-236, parents or caregivers must ensure that children are seated in an adequate car seat while riding in any car. The only exception is when the driver is an immediate family member, which includes parents, grandparents, or siblings.

What are the different types of car seats?

In Colorado, there are three types of safety restraint systems that a child may use. The type of seat depends on the child’s age, height, and weight. The following are the different car seat types:

  1. Rear-facing car seats

  2. Rear-facing car seats are mandatory for infants and children who weight up to 35 pounds, or until they are one year old.

  3. Forward-facing seat

  4. For children who have outgrown a rear-facing seat, Colorado law requires that they be seated in a forward-facing car seat equipped with a harness for their safety. Children are required to sit in a forward-facing seat until they weigh over 40 pounds or have attained four years of age.

  5. Booster seats

  6. In Colorado, booster seats are mandatory for children over 40 pounds or below four feet nine inches. These seats raise the child’s height, allowing the car seatbelt to comfortably rest on them while in use. Caregivers may only switch to a booster seat once the child has outgrown forward-facing seats.

  7. Seatbelts

  8. Kids may only use seat belts once they weigh more than 80 pounds and are at least four feet nine inches tall. Caregivers must ensure the seat belt is properly fitted and worn tightly against the child’s chest to avoid injuries during an accident or collision.

What are the penalties for violating Colorado’s car seat law?

In Colorado, operating a car with an improperly restrained child under eight years old is a Class B traffic offense. Violating the law could result in a maximum penalty of $82 for the first offense.

If you are caught violating the law a second time, the maximum fine increases to $164. Furthermore, the court may also require that you take a child passenger safety course to learn the proper installation of a car seat.

Conclusion

Using proper car seats for children while driving in Colorado is more than a legal requirement, it’s about keeping your little passengers safe. Caregivers must acknowledge that children require adequate protection and that car seats act as a safety net that cushions kids during an accident or collision.

By following Colorado’s car seat law, parents and caregivers can ensure that they avoid legal fines, penalties, or other repercussions that the court may impose. More importantly, they can guarantee that they drive with peace of mind, knowing that their kids ride safely.

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