Many new parents are unaware of the safety laws that come with transporting a child in their family vehicle. As your child grows, you may wonder what is appropriate with each developmental milestone. For example, there are laws that dictate the placement of a child in the motor vehicle and laws that dictate the appropriate contraptions to place the child into.
If you are not aware of these laws, you can be at risk for facing legal consequences that vary in amounts and charges. All parents are obligated to ensure their children are riding safely in vehicles of all types. Accidents may cause the most damage to the youngest riders inside.
Overview of basic Colorado laws for child safety in vehicles:
- Infants must be secured in car seats that face the back of the car until they weigh a minimum of 20 pounds. This law also states that children under 20 pounds must ride in the back of a vehicle. There are no exceptions, even if you only own a single seated pickup truck.
- Children weighing more than 20 pounds have the option of their car seat being forward-facing. It is recommended that children over 20 pounds remain in the back seat until the age of 13 years old. Although, this is not a law, it is strongly advised by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
- Ages 4-8 years old must be secured in a larger upright car seat or a booster seat.
- Ages 8 and up must wear a seat-belt always although a car seat or booster is no longer mandatory.
Always check the law first
Child safety is a top priority for most parents, but certainly for law enforcement officers. If you are ever in doubt as to what the laws are as your child grows and develops, find out before making any decisions. It is better to comply with the law than to be charged with child endangerment or any other accusation of neglect.
There are many tips for parents online to assist you in all the questions you have regarding safety. The damages caused by many motor vehicle accidents may be avoided when you prepare ahead of time with securing your child safely and with accordance with state law.