Car seats and seatbelts are life saving necessities for child passengers. Unfortunately, it is easy to get confused about the Connecticut laws regarding child restraints. In a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600,000 children in one year ages 0-12 rode in vehicles without being restrained by a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. In the same study, “Of the children ages 12 years and younger who died in a crash in 2016, 35% were not buckled up.”
Further, only about 1 in 5 car seats in Connecticut are actually used the correct way. It is frightening to think about how many young children may have been saved, had they been properly restrained in the car. On this page, I will discuss Connecticut laws related to car seats and seatbelts for children.
In Connecticut, children under two years old or weighing less than 30 pounds must be in a rear-facing car seat with a five-point harness. Children who are 2-4 years old, or weigh between 30 and 39 pounds must be in a rear-facing or a forward-facing car seat with a five-point harness. Children ages 5-7 or weighing 40-59 points must ride in a car seat or booster seat that is restrained by a lap and shoulder seat belt. Children who are age 8-15 who weigh 60 pounds or more must be in an approved child booster seat or seat belt.
All Connecticut drivers and front seat passengers who are not included in the laws on child restraints are required to wear seat belts. Children between the ages of four and 16 must be wearing seat belts in the back seat of the car. Teenagers and adults over the age of 16 are not required to wear seat belts in the back seat. The driver of the vehicle is responsible for all passengers who are under 16 in the car. It is recommended that children 13 years old and younger sit in the back seat.
Car seat and Seatbelt Violation Tickets
If you have questions about your child’s car seat or booster seat, or you need assistance with getting a seat properly installed, you can visit a Car Seat Clinic or go to a local fitting station. If you need to speak with someone about a Connecticut car seat violation or a motor vehicle ticket, please call our office for further assistance.