When it comes to going out or traveling in vehicles, one crucial aspect of children’s safety is using the right car seat. In this blog, we will dive into the Vermont car seat laws and provide more useful information to help all of you.
Vermont Car Seat Law
In Vermont, all children under the age of 8 must be secured in a child restraint system while traveling in a motor vehicle. The child restraint system should meet federal safety standards and be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Vermont Infant/Toddler Car Seat Law
Infants and toddlers up to the age of 2 or until they reach the weight or height limit set by the car seat manufacturer must be placed in a rear-facing car seat. This law ensures that young children are protected in the event of a crash, as rear-facing seats provide better support for their developing bodies.
Vermont Rear-facing/Forward-facing Car Seat Law
Children who have outgrown their rear-facing car seat should transition to a forward-facing car seat with a harness. This transition typically occurs when the child reaches the weight or height limit specified by the car seat manufacturer. It is recommended to keep children in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible before making this switch.
Child Booster Seat Laws in Vermont
Once a child has outgrown their forward-facing car seat, they should be secured in a booster seat until they reach the age of 8 or until they are at least 57 inches tall. Booster seats help position the seat belt correctly on a child’s body, providing better protection in case of an accident.
Leaving Child in Car Law in Vermont
It is illegal in Vermont to leave a child under the age of 6 unattended in a motor vehicle for a period of time that poses an unreasonable risk to their health or safety. Caregivers should ensure that children are never left alone in a vehicle, especially during extreme temperatures or other hazardous conditions.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Vermont
Taxis and other commercial vehicles are exempt from the car seat requirements in Vermont. However, it is still highly recommended that children use appropriate car seats or booster seats when riding in taxis to ensure their safety.
Vermont Ridesharing Seat Law
In ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft, drivers are not required to provide car seats for passengers. It is the responsibility of the parent or caregiver to bring and use a suitable car seat for their child during the ride.
Vermont Child Seat Replacement Law
After a moderate or severe crash, it is recommended to replace any child restraint system involved in the accident. The impact can compromise the effectiveness of the seat, even if no visible damage is apparent. Insurance companies usually cover the cost of replacement. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult with a certified technician to ensure proper installation of the new seat.
Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Vermont
Violating the laws regarding child safety seats or child restraints in Vermont can result in fines. For a first offense, the fine is $25. If a caregiver commits a second offense, the fine increases to $50. Subsequently, for a third or any subsequent offense, the fine is set at $100.
These fines are imposed to encourage compliance with the laws and emphasize the importance of properly securing children in appropriate car seats or restraints while traveling in a motor vehicle. By enforcing these penalties, Vermont aims to ensure the safety and well-being of young passengers on the road.
Vermont’s Child Passenger Safety Program
Vermont’s Child Passenger Safety Program, Be Seat Smart, aims to raise awareness about the crucial role of child car seats and educate caregivers about the 4 Stages of Seat Safety for children. Caregivers often find child safety seats confusing, and improper installation is common.
To address this, certified safety technicians are available at Fitting Stations across Vermont and special Car Seat Check events, offering free assistance to ensure proper installation of car seats.
How can I visit a safety seat fitting station?
To locate the nearest fitting station, you can visit beseatsmart.org/permanent-car-seat-fitting-stations.php.
Mark your calendars for a special event on Saturday, September 21, from 10 a.m. to noon. During this time, fitting stations will be available at eight designated sites. The locations for this event are as follows:
- Shelburne Police Department – 5420 Shelburne Rd., Shelburne
- Department of Children and Families in Bennington – 200 Veterans Memorial Drive, Suite 14, Bennington
- Orleans County Sheriff’s Department – 5578 US-5, Newport
- Windsor Fire Department – 29 Union St., Windsor
- Chittenden County Sheriff’s Department – 70 Ethan Allen Dr., South Burlington
- Lyndon Rescue – 114 Vail Dr., Lyndonville
When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Vermont?
In Vermont, the law states that a child can sit in the front seat of a vehicle once they reach 8 years old. However, it is important to note that it is generally recommended to keep children in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old due to safety concerns.
Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Vermont?
Yes, it is illegal to smoke in a car with a child under the age of 8 in Vermont. The law aims to protect children from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and ensure their well-being while in a confined space like a vehicle.
How old do you have to be to use a booster seat in Vermont?
According to Vermont law, children must use a booster seat until they are at least 8 years old or have reached the height of 4 feet 9 inches. This requirement is in place to ensure that the seat belt fits properly and provides adequate protection for the child.
At what age and height do you stop using a car seat?
The general guideline for when to stop using a car seat is when a child reaches the age of 8 or a height of 4 feet 9 inches, as mentioned above. However, it is essential to follow the specific guidelines provided by the car seat manufacturer and adhere to state laws, which may vary.
What weight does a child have to be to not be in a car seat?
A child should remain in a car seat until they reach the age of 8 or meet the height and weight requirements specified by the car seat manufacturer and state regulations. It is crucial to consult the car seat’s manual and local laws to determine the specific weight limits for transitioning a child out of a car seat.
Remember, as responsible adults, it is our duty to protect the youngest members of our society. By adhering to the Vermont Car Seat Laws 2023, we can significantly reduce the risk of injuries or fatalities in case of an accident. Always stay informed about the latest guidelines, follow them diligently, and never compromise on your child’s safety.