This post covers Oregon’s car seat laws for the front car seat, rear car seat, booster seat, and provides general info on baby safety law guidelines in Oregon. This is part of our education series covering state-specific laws and similar to our recent one on Kentucky and Ohio car seat laws.
The state of Oregon reported 57, 726 crashes in 2017 that involved 4, 571 children under the age of 14 years. The high number of motor vehicle crashes, and more so the high number of kids involved highlights the need to enhance the safety of your children using child passenger systems. The state of Oregon enforces child passenger safety through the Oregon Car Seat Law.
The Oregon Car Seat Law defines:
- Who and when to use the rear-facing car seat
- Who and when to use the front-facing car seat
- Who to use the booster seats
- The height and weight requirements
- Laws for seatbelts
Laws for Rear-Facing Car Seats
Beginning in 2017, the state of Oregon requires all toddlers under the age of two to use a rear-facing car seat, regardless of their weight.
Also, the state of Oregon requires that all babies who weigh less than 20 lbs to use a rear-facing car seat, regardless of their age. The cart seat must be DOT-approved, securely fastened, and properly assembled onto the car.
Additionally, all car seats must be used according to the directions of the manufacturer. For example, a parent or caregiver must ensure that he or she attaches the car seat onto the car and install the car seats on the kid’s body according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Laws for Front-Facing Car Seats
The state of Oregon requires that children of at least two years and up to 40lbs must use a DOT-approved car seat that faces the front.
Note: it is safe to use front-facing car seats with babies of at least two years and about 40 lbs because they have better control of their head and neck movement. Thus, it is unnecessary for the babies to use rear-facing car seats.
Laws for Booster Seats
The child booster seat laws in Oregon states, “After the child has crossed the 40-pound threshold, they must travel in a booster seat until they reach the height of 4’9’’ or they weigh limit set by the seat manufacturer.”
Kids stop using the booster seater when they are 4’9’’ or taller, 40 lbs. Or more, and at least eight years old.
The car seat must be suitable for the child base on its height, weight, and age requirements. Also, the parent or caregiver must obey adhere to the directions of the manufacturer and must ensure that the baby is buckled in securely.
Height and Weight Requirements
The state of Oregon car seat laws stipulates that babies under 40 lbs must use a car seat that DOT-approved. The law also states that kids over 40 lbs must still use a car seat or a booster seat until they are eight years or 4’9’’ or taller.
Laws for Seatbelts
According to the state of Oregon car seat laws, a child switches to the safety belt when he or she outgrows the booster seat. To ensure that your baby is ready to transition to safety belts, place your baby in the car without the booster seat, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Can the babysit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
- Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat?
- Does the shoulder belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
- Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
- Can the child stay comfortably seated like this for this whole trip?
Your child is ready to use the safety belt if you have answered yes to all the questions. If not, your baby should continue using the booster seat.
The law requires that parents and caregivers should ensure that the seat belt is well assembled and harness to enhance safety. For example, ensure that the safety belt does not pass on the child’s neck.
Note: it is recommended that children should use the back seat of the vehicle to limit injuries or prevent death in case of an accident.
Teenagers of above 14 years can ride in the front seat if the airbag is disengaged.
However, children are excepted to ride in the front car seat when:
- The vehicle had no seatbelts when being bought
- The make of the vehicle does not include seatbelts
- All the car seats are occupied
- The baby has a special medical or physical condition that might worsen with the use of a car seat or a seatbelt. A parent or caregiver must have a certificate from the Department of Transportation that proofs that a child’s condition will deteriorate when it uses a car seat, booster seat, or a safety belt.
A parent or caregiver who fails to adhere to Oregon’s car seat laws commits a Class D traffic violation that attracts a fine of between $65 and $250.
Oregon Department of Transportation’s Safety Tips:
The video below was produced by Oregon Department of Transportation’s Safety department: