Richmond Virginia Child Restraint Laws

The Child Safety program in Virginia focuses on promoting the use of safety seat restraint so that children can travel safely until they are almost nine years old. Their aim is to spread awareness amongst the caregivers and parents through education and outreach programs.

A- Infants

1- Infants are required to travel in a rear-facing front seat until they are at least a year old and weighs almost 20 pounds.

2- The American Academy of Pediatrics and The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration advice the adult individuals riding in the car that they use the rear facing seat for kids who are below the age of 2. Some manufacturers of rear facing seats have higher weight and height specifications.

3- It is required that an infant should not be placed on the front side of the vehicle, especially the vehicles that come along with active passenger airbags.

B- Toddlers

1- When a child grows too big to fit in a rear-facing seat, it is recommended that the child should be riding in a forward facing seat that will be placed in the back seat of the vehicle. This seat should be used until the child reaches the height and weight that is too much for this seat.

2- It is always ideal to use the 5 point harness belt till the safety seat allows. This is recommended before the use of a belt-positioning booster.

C- Booster Seat

1- When the children have outgrown to fit in the front facing seat, they should be riding in booster seats in order to maintain maximum safety. The use of booster seats is recommended until the vehicle seat belt will fit them properly (mostly before they reach the age of 8).

2- Seat belts should be used when they lay across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits perfectly across the child’s chest (mostly when they reach the height of 4 feet and 9 inches.

D- Seat Belt

1- When children are outgrown to fit in the booster seats with their height being almost 4 feet and 9 inches, it is suitable for them to use the adult seat belts when they are sitting in the back seat. The lap belt should lay across the area of the upper thighs with the shoulder belt fitting across the chest.

2- According to Virginia law, it is recommended that all children below the age of 7 should be secured in a safety seat that is designed for children, no matter what their weight and height is.

-Always wear a seatbelt

Through public awareness programs, the use of seatbelts has increased drastically over the past 30 years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that 11.5% of drivers and front seat passengers do not use safety belts.

Those who do not utilize seatbelts are at a risk of being injured in accidents. The danger for other passengers is increased as well. The punishments for not wearing a seatbelt are minor but some serious injuries can take place if they are not used.