Georgia Child Restraint Law - Code Sections: 40-8-76
Changes effective: July 1, 2011
Children under age 8 must be properly secured in an approved car seat or booster seat while riding in:
• Cars, Vans, SUV’s and Pickup trucks
• Exemptions – Taxicabs and public transit vehicles
The car seat and/or booster seat must:
• Be in the rear seat
• Be appropriate for the child’s weight & height
• Meet all U.S. federal standards
• Be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions
When installing car seats, consider using the vehicle lap belt to install car seats for younger
children, leaving the lap & shoulder belts for children needing booster seats or others riding in
the car. If you have questions about how to travel safely with children contact any of the
agencies listed below.
The following exemptions apply:
• Children under age 8 whose height is over 4’9” or 57”; or
• The child’s parent or guardian has a written statement from a Physician that the child has a physical or medical condition that prevents placing or restraining them
as required by law. Parent or guardian should keep this statement in their possession.
1st conviction – not more than $50
2nd & subsequent convictions – not more than $100
Note: For children who are 6 or 7, from July 1, 2011 until January 1, 2012, if a citation is issued and the defendant shows to the court that an appropriate car seat or booster seat has been purchased by him or her after the date of the ticket and prior to a court appearance, the court
may waive or suspend the fine for the first conviction.
Points assessed against violator’s driver’s license
1st conviction – 1 point, 2nd & subsequent convictions – 2 points
For more information:
Georgia. Traffic Injury Prevention Institute (GTIPI), 800-342-9819, 678-413-4281
Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, 404-656-6996
, click on child passenger safety to find an inspection station locator
Office of Injury Prevention, Div.of Public Health, 404-679-0500
Safe Kids Georgia, 404-785-7221
Child Passenger Safety Board of Georgia,
Current car seat recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
• Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
• Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
• To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
• Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
Birth – 12 months
Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
1 – 3 years
Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
4 – 7 years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
8 – 12 years
Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.
Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.
For more information on child passenger or highway safety:
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