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Car Safety Tips

ALWAYS BUCKLE UP! CHILD RESTRAINTS AND SAFETY BELTS SAVE LIVES!

GEORGIA CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY LAW (40-8-76)

Effective July 1, 2011 , children under age 8 must be properly secured in an approved car seat or booster seat while riding in:

  • Passenger automobiles, vans, 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

EXEMPTIONS:

  • Children under age 8 whose height is over 4'9" or 57"
  • 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. Parents or guardian should keep this statement in their possession.

EXCEPTIONS:

A child under age 8 and weighing at least 40 pounds is not exempt from the law. They may use a lap belt only instead of a car seat or booster seat when:

  • The vehicle is not equipped with lap & shoulder belts; or
  • Excluding the driver's seat, all seating positions with lap or shoulder belts are being used to restrain other children. In this case, the placement of car seats/boosters seats should be evaluated to determine if they can be repositioned to provide the best protection for all children being transported.

FINES:

  • 1st conviction - not more than $50
  • 2nd and subsequent convictions - not more than $100

Points assessed against violators driver's license:

  • 1st conviction - 1 point
  • 2nd and subsequent convictions - 2 points

BEST PRACTICE RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Always read and follow child restraint instructions for proper use of the child restraint system as well as the vehicle owner's manual.
  • Child restraints should be installed with no more than one inch of movement from side-to-side or front-to-back (tested at the belt path).
  • Rear-facing child restraints should never be placed in front of an active airbag.
  • Children should remain rear-facing until they reach the upper weight limit or height allowed by the seat.
  • Children should remain in a booster seat until the safety belt fits them correctly across the hips and collar bone.
  • Children age twelve (12) and under should ride in th back seat of the vehicle whenever possible. The back seat is the safest position for children.
  • Expectant mothers should always wear their safety belt.

The following information was provided by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). Please visit their website www.gahighwaysafety.org for more updated information.