Automobiles are a leading cause of injuries and death for children between 1 and 12 years old in Georgia. This is why children’s safety should be your priority as a parent and/or caregiver. NHTSA research findings show that approximately 60% of car seats are mounted or adjusted wrongly.
As such, Georgia has a law titled Georgia Child Passenger Safety Law (O.C.G.A. 40-8-76) that ensures children passengers travel in child restraint systems while in a motor vehicle. The law requires children under the age of 8 to ride in a federal approved child restraint system that matches their height and weight.
Failure to adhere to these car seat laws attracts a penalty of not more than $50, with a second offense of not more than $100.
Georgia Car Seat Laws Height and Weight
Georgia car seat laws have no specific laws addressing height and weight requirements. But as professionals say, all kids below 8 years old and with a height less than 57 inches (4’9”) must be in a booster seat or car seat that suits their weight. They also must ride in the backseat of the vehicle.
Georgia Car Seat Laws Rear-Facing
According to Georgia car seat laws, you should keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, especially kids between 1 and 3 three years. This practice is considered safe and should be done until the child outgrows the weight and height limit set by the car seat manufacturer. Make sure you also use a harness.GA-CPS-Law-Enforcement-Card
Georgia Car Seat Laws Forward-Facing
Georgia car seat laws require parents and caregivers to keep children aged 4 to 7 years forward-facing with a harness. They should remain there until they outgrow the height and weight limits recommended by the car seat manufacturer. They must remain in the back seat all this while, even when they proceed to a booster seat.
Georgia Car Seat Laws Booster Seat (July 1 Changes)
When your child is between 8 years and 12 years, make sure they sit in a booster seat until they can fit in a seat belt appropriately, according to Georgia law. What does this mean? The lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt across the chat and shoulder.
If you want to keep your kid safe, make sure they remain in the back sit even if they can fit in the seat belt. To graduate out of a booster seat, the child must be at least 4’9” tall.
When Can a Child Ride in the Front Seat in Georgia?
While Georgia law requires all kids below 8 to sit in the back seat, professionals insist that you should only alow your child to ride in the front seat when they attain age 13. After this, they can be allowed to sit in the front seat, as long as they meet the above recommendations of graduating out of a booster seat. You can be fined $50 for riding with your kid in the front seat if your child is less than 8 years old.
Georgia Car Seat Laws for Uber/Atlanta Taxi Car Seats
Currently, Uber is only offering compliant car seats in New York City alone, and is yet to provide similar services in states such as Georgia and specifically Atlanta. As such, parents and caregivers are required to go with their car seats.
In Georgia, taxis are exempt from the child restraining laws. However, there are car service car seats for your child in Atlanta. If you want Uber services in Atlanta and are in need of a car seat, you can make the request by tapping the car seat option after choosing the type of vehicle on the ride sharing platform you are using – Lyft or Uber. This service costs you $10 extra to UberX pricing.
You can read more on rideshare laws in Georgia here.
Car Seat Replacement after Accident
There are no specific laws in Georgia regarding car seat replacement after an accident, but you can always rely on your car seat manufacturer’s guidelines. There is plenty of information on the level of damage that can be replaced after a crash and which can’t.
You can also check the NHTSA damage classifications and recommendations on car seat replacement. In a nutshell, it categorizes crashes as severe and moderate, or minor. If the damage on the car seat is moderate or severe, do not replace the car seat for your kid’s safety. If the crash is minor, you can replace it. Check above for more information.