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Child Passenger Safety

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New Law Protects California Kids!

Effective January 1, 2012

What is the new law?

(V.C. 27360) All children under age 8 must be properly buckled into a safety seat or booster in the back seat. Exceptions: A child who weighs more than 40 pounds and is riding in a car without lap and shoulder belts in the back seat may wear just a lap belt. A child under age 8 who is at least 4'9" may wear a safety belt if it fits properly. Children under age 8 may ride in the front if there is no forward-facing rear seat in the vehicle, the child restraint cannot be properly installed in rear seat, all rear seats are occupied by other children age 7 or under, or for medical reasons. A child in a rear-facing safety seat may not ride in front if there is an active passenger air bag.

(V.C. 27360.5) Children age 8 or over may use the vehicle safety belt if it fits properly with the lap belt low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest. If children are not tall enough for proper belt fit, they must ride in a booster or safety seat.

Consequences for Failing to Properly Buckle Up Any Child Under 16

  • The parent gets the ticket if a child under 16 is not properly buckled up.
  • The driver gets the ticket if the parent is not in the car.
  • The cost of a ticket could be more than $475* per child; the fine for a second offense could be more than $1000* per child. One point is added to the driving record, which could raise insurance rates. Part of the fine money goes to a special fund to help pay for local safety seat education and distribution programs.

Get Your Child's Safety Seat Inspected by Trained Child Passenger Safety Technicians

  • You will get advice on the safe transportation of all your children under age 13.
  • You will learn how to properly install your child's safety seat in your vehicle.
  • You will be required to install the child safety seat yourself after you learn how the seat belts in your vehicle work with your safety seat.
  • The inspection will take a minimum of ½ hour, depending on the number of children you transport in your vehicle.

For More Information, Please Call

Madera County Public Health Department

  • Natalie Stein, Certified Child Passenger Safety Instructor
  • Juana Soto-Sosa, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician-(Spanish speaking)

More Info on Child Passenger Safety