Car safety is a top priority when it comes to traveling with children. In Massachusetts, car seat laws are constantly updated to ensure maximum safety for children. The recent changes in the Massachusetts car seat laws have left many parents confused and unsure about what is required. To help make it easier for parents, this article will outline all the changes and requirements involved in the Massachusetts car seat laws for 2023.
Massachusetts Rear-Facing Seat Law
The Massachusetts Rear-Facing Seat Law states that all children under the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing car seat. It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that children should remain rear-facing until they outgrow the height or weight limit of the car seat.
Massachusetts Forward-Facing Seat Law
The Massachusetts Forward-Facing Seat Law requires that children over the age of 2 and under 8 years old must ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. Once a child outgrows the height or weight limit of the car seat, they should transition to a booster seat.
Massachusetts Car Seat Law
The Massachusetts Car Seat Law states that all children under the age of 8 must be secured in a child passenger restraint system that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. This includes rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster seats. Children who are 8 years old or older are required to wear a seat belt while riding in a vehicle.
Massachusetts Infant/Toddler Car Seat Law
The Massachusetts Infant/Toddler Car Seat Law requires that all infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the age of 2 or until they meet the height or weight limit of the car seat. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, they should transition to a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
Child Booster Seat Laws in Massachusetts
Child Booster Seat Laws in Massachusetts require that children who have outgrown their forward-facing car seat with a harness should use a booster seat until they are at least 8 years old or have reached a height of 4 feet 9 inches. Children who have outgrown their booster seat can use a seat belt if they can sit with their back against the vehicle seat, knees bent over the edge of the seat, and feet on the floor.
Leaving Child in Car Law in Massachusetts
The Leaving Child in Car Law in Massachusetts states that a person may not leave a child under the age of 6 unattended in a motor vehicle for more than 5 minutes. This law includes situations where the vehicle is running or the windows are cracked open. Violators of this law are subject to a fine of up to $500. Additionally, if a child is found to be in danger, the individual responsible for leaving them in the car may face criminal charges.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, all taxis are required to have seat belts for all passengers. However, there is no requirement for vehicles for hire to have a car seat. Children under the age of eight are required to be seated in the back seat of the vehicle, securely fastened with a seat belt. The Massachusetts car seat laws do not provide any exemptions for taxis or other transportation providers.
Massachusetts Child Seat Belt Law
In Massachusetts, children under the age of eight and less than 57 inches tall are required to be securely fastened with a child restraint system. This can be a car seat or a booster seat. Once the child surpasses these requirements, they are required to wear a seat belt while traveling in a vehicle. It is recommended that children continue to ride in the back seat until they are 13 years of age.
Massachusetts Ridesharing Seat Law
In Massachusetts, ridesharing companies such as Uber or Lyft require children to be properly secured in a child seat when traveling. The car seat must be appropriate to the child’s height, weight, and age. If the driver is found to be operating a vehicle without a child seat, they may have their account suspended or deactivated. It is important for parents to know and adhere to these laws to ensure the safety of their children when traveling in ridesharing services.
Places to Get Car Seat Help in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, there are several resources available to parents who need help installing or selecting the appropriate car seat for their child. These resources include hospitals, police stations, and childcare centers. These establishments often have trained personnel who can provide guidance on the installation of car seats and proper usage.
Additionally, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration provides a list of certified child passenger safety technicians who can assist parents in choosing and installing car seats.
When can a baby face forward in a car seat in Massachusetts?
According to Massachusetts law, children must remain in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 2 years old or have reached the weight and height limits of their rear-facing seat. Once a child has outgrown their rear-facing seat, they can switch to a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they reach the weight and height limits of that seat.
How old for a booster seat in Massachusetts?
Children in Massachusetts must use a booster seat until they are at least 8 years old or have reached a height of 57 inches. After that, they can use a seat belt with no other restraint system.
When to use a backless booster seat in Massachusetts?
Backless booster seats can be used in Massachusetts once a child has outgrown their forward-facing car seat with a harness and has reached the height or weight limit of the booster seat. It is important to ensure that the child’s seat belt fits properly when using a backless booster seat.
Do you need a car seat in a Uber in Massachusetts?
Yes, in Massachusetts all passengers under 8 years old or under 57 inches tall must be properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat in any for-hire vehicle, including an Uber.
When can a child sit in the front seat in Massachusetts?
According to Massachusetts law, children must ride in the rear seat of the car until they are at least 8 years old or have reached a height of 57 inches. If the vehicle does not have a rear seat, a child may ride in the front seat with a properly fitted seat belt.
Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Massachusetts?
Yes, it is illegal to smoke in a car with a child under the age of 18 in Massachusetts. Violators can face fines of up to $100 for the first offense and up to $500 for subsequent offenses. This law is in place to protect children from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
How long must a child remain in a car seat?
Until they reach the age of 8 or grow beyond the height of 57 inches, all child passengers in automobiles must be appropriately secured in a child restraint system that meets federal safety standards and is fastened according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Once children outgrow their booster seats, typically around age 8 or when they surpass 57 inches in height, they are required to utilize a seat belt that is adjusted and fastened in accordance with manufacturer instructions until they reach the age of 13.
The Massachusetts car seat laws aim to provide maximum safety and protection for children while travelling in a vehicle. Parents should strive to adhere to these laws to ensure the safety of their children. By understanding the requirements and getting the correct information, parents can make the appropriate choices to ensure their child is safe throughout the journey.