Child Passenger Restraint Laws and Regulations
Indiana Child Restraint Law (Effective July 1, 2005)
- Children are required to ride properly restrained in a child restraint, which can include a belt positioning booster seat, until they reach their 8th birthday. (This does not include shoulder belt positioners.)
- Children at least 8 years old until their 16th birthday are required to ride properly restrained in a child restraint system or seat belt in all seating positions in all vehicles.
- If first time offenders of this violation bring a child safety seat or booster to court, the fine will be waived.
- Fees collected from violations will be entered into a fund to purchase child restraints for low income families throughout Indiana.
If all lap/shoulder seat belts are being used by other children, then a child over 40 pounds may ride in a lap only seat belt without a child restraint. (Booster seats cannot be safely used with a lap only seat belt.)
Additional exemptions include vehicles such as a school bus, ambulance, public passenger bus, motorcycle and other emergency vehicles.
Click here to read the entire code.
Indiana Passenger Law (Effective July 1, 2007)
- Occupants 16 and older are required to ride properly restrained in a seat belt.
- This law applies to all seating positions in all vehicles, including pick-up trucks and SUV's.
- Click here to read the entire code.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation, is the federal agency responsible for establishing and monitoring safety criteria for child safety seats and vehicles. In addition, NHTSA develops educational materials and trainings, provides money for research and safety and enforcement programs, conducts research, and conducts compliance testing on products. The NHTSA website, www.nhtsa.dot.gov, provides a wealth of information on child passenger safety.
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213
Federal motor vehicle safety standard 213 (FMVSS213) governs the performance criteria for child restraint systems up to 65 pounds. The standard includes requirements for restraint crashworthiness, labeling and instructions, flammability, and buckle and release pressure. Child safety seat manufacturers must self-certify that their products meet or exceed performance criteria established by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 and have labels that document this compliance attached to their restraints .