Children under eight years old and under 4’9″ tall are required by Arizona law to be securely fastened in a child safety seat. A violation of Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 28-907 is punishable by a fine of up to $176.
Child safety seats can be difficult to understand how to install and use properly, but you can learn more about Arizona child car seat laws and how to better protect your child with help from Zanes Law Injury Lawyers.
Car Seat Laws Protect Arizona Kids
In 2018, 3,134 children under the age of 14 were seriously injured in a car accident, with 32 of those injuries resulting in death. In fact, car crashes are the number one cause of death for children ages 1 to 12 in the U.S.
But while these statistics are devastating, there are a number of measures that we can take to protect our kids. Child passenger safety is important, and one of the simplest ways to do so is to use car seats properly.
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The Age and Size of a Child Matters When It Comes to Car Seat Laws in Arizona
The state of Arizona requires that all children who are younger than eight years old and under 4’9” are properly secured in a child safety seat. These seats include:
- Infant seats
- Convertible seats
- Forward-facing seats
- Federally approved safety seats
It is critical to follow the guidelines for height and weight to ensure that your child is using the proper seat for their size. Arizona state child car seat laws mandate:
- All kids ages 8 and younger must be in a child safety seat appropriate for his or her size
- Children under the age of 13 should always ride in the backseat
- All children ages 8 to 16 years old who are not in a car seat should be using a seatbelt
Infants/Babies (0-12 months)
Infant seats, which are designed to fit newborns up to 30 pounds or more, are rear-facing. When they outgrow the infant carrier they can use a convertible seat. Arizona car seat laws do not govern forward or backward-facing rules regarding your child’s car seat.
However, they should remain rear-facing until they are at least two years old and have hit the maximum height and weight limits for their specific seat.
Convertible car seats can be rear-facing before becoming forward-facing for older toddlers generally 22 to 65 pounds. Safety experts encourage parents to use a seat that has a five-point harness. High-backed booster seats are for older children.
Some seats are capable of handling children who weigh up to 100 pounds. Always check the manual that comes with the seat. As a general rule of thumb, children should be at least five to six years old before they move to a booster seat.
Older Kids (5-13)
Kids don’t usually get to go without a safety seat of any kind until they are about 8-12 years old, and at least 4’9” and 80 pounds. By then, they should be wearing a seatbelt.
How do I Know if My Child Can Ride Without a Booster Seat in Arizona?
You may wonder if your child requires a booster seat and how Arizona child car seat laws apply in these situations. You’ll know if your child can ride without a booster seat in Arizona if:
- When your child sits with his or her back against the seat, his or her legs should bend over the edge of the seat
- When the seat belt is buckled, the lap belt should stay lower on the hips
- The shoulder belt should rest on the collarbone and shoulder
- The shoulder belt should not go under your child’s arms or behind his or her back
- Your child should be able to hold this position
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Arizona Taxi Child Car Seat Legislation
Taxis are not required to comply with Arizona child car safety seat law. In Section 28-907(H), the restrictions for unusual circumstances are listed.
Rule three exempts a person who runs a commercial motor vehicle and possesses a valid commercial driver’s license from being responsible for this car seat law.
To best protect your child when traveling by Uber, Lyft, Taxi, or other rideshare vehicles, be sure to bring the appropriate car seat with you.
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Make Sure You Install the Car Seat Properly
It can be nerve-wracking for parents to know whether or not the child safety seat has been properly secured. Luckily, the Phoenix Fire Department can help. The Phoenix Fire Department was one of the first to establish fitting stations and has four fitting locations for child seat security.
With an appointment, you can take your car to the fire department and have an inspection to find out if your car seat is installed correctly. This is an easy and free way to ensure that you are protecting your child to the best of your ability and following the Arizona child car seat laws.
Don’t Take Chances With Child Passenger Safety
Auto accidents can result in a number of damages that can impact your life and the lives of your children. At Zanes Law, we care about Arizona children and encourage you to always buckle up and follow Arizona car seat safety laws for the safety of your little ones.
Hopefully, you never get into an accident with a child in the back in a car seat. But if you do, always replace your child’s car seat after a crash. If you or your child have been injured in an auto accident, reach out to your car accident lawyers for a legal consultation.