Car Seat Laws

SUMMARY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA’S CHILD PASSENGER PROTECTION LAWS

(Act 53, 1983 / Act 22, 1993 / Act 229, 2002 / Act 81, 2011)

All drivers operating a passenger car, Class I and Class II truck, classic motor vehicle, antique motor vehicle or motor home shall securely fasten infants and children under 8 years of age in an approved child restraint/booster when riding anywhere in the motor vehicle, including the cargo area. The seat may be in any seating position equipped with a seat belt in the vehicle. (However, for maximum protection, a back seat is preferable.)

•All drivers transporting children under 4 years of age are responsible to securely restrain those children in an approved child passenger restraint system. (Primary Law)

a.Violators may be stopped as a primary offense for non-compliance of the Child Passenger Protection Law for children birth to age 4. Violators will be fined $75.00, plus Court Cost (adjusted annually); $45.00 Surcharge; $10.00 EMS Fund and $10.00 Administrative Costs.

b.The fine shall be dismissed if the person prior to or at his hearing displays evidence of acquisition of a child passenger restraint system/booster. Evidence shall include a receipt to the appropriate court officer, which evidences the purchase, rental, transferal from another child seat owner (notarized letter) or bailment from a child seat loaner program.

•All drivers transporting children 4 years of age or older but under 8 years of age are responsible to securely restrain those children in a seat belt system and an appropriately fitting child booster seat. (Primary Law)

a.Violators may be stopped as a primary offense for non-compliance of the Child Passenger Protection Law for children age 4 to age 8. Violators will be fined $75.00, plus Court Costs (adjusted annually); $45.00 Surcharge; $10.00 EMS Fund and $10.00 Administrative Costs.

b.The fine shall be dismissed if the person prior to or at his hearing displays evidence of acquisition of a child passenger restraint system/booster. Evidence shall include a receipt to the appropriate court officer, which evidences purchase, rental, transferal from another child seat owner (notarized letter) or bailment from a child seat loaner program.

An approved child passenger restraint system will be labeled to indicate that the child restraint conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Fines collected are placed in a fund used to purchase child safety seats

for car seat loaner programs.

Civil immunity for child passenger safety technicians and lenders of car seats has been granted. No certified child passenger safety technician or organization acting in good faith, within the scope of the training, and without a fee or charge to the owner or operator of the vehicle, shall be liable for an act of omission that occurs in giving advice or assistance regarding the inspection, installation or adjustment of a car seat. No person or organization who lends child restraints shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any acts or omission, except any act or omission intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent act or omission resulting in harm to another.

Hospitals are required to notify parents of the location of car seat loan programs in the community. It is recommended that hospitals also provide information on Pennsylvania's Child Passenger Safety law. Providing educational materials about the law and correct selection and use of car seats will assists families in keeping their children safe during travel.