Arkansas has some of the strictest car seat laws in the country. One of the most challenging issues that arise in regards to car seats is not just which seat to choose, but also when to start using them. In order for you and your child to remain safe in the event of an accident, you should consider following these Arkansas car seat laws. Here’s what you need to know about these rules and regulations.

Arkansas Car Seat Law

Arkansas Car Seat Laws

According to section 27-34-104 of the Arkansas Child Passenger Protection Act,

“Every driver of a motor vehicle who transports a child under fifteen (15) years of age, shall while the vehicle is in motion and operated on a public road, street, or highway, properly place, maintain, and secure the child in a child passenger restraint system properly secured to the vehicle and meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.”

Arkansas Car Seat Laws

Arkansas Car Seat Law for Infants

Children under the age of 24 months must ride in the back seat by law. Rear-facing, convertible, and all-in-one car seats are all permitted.

Arkansas Rear-facing Car Seat Law

There is no law in Arkansas spelling out the criteria for children to be placed in a rear-facing seat. The legislation, however, dictates that infants less than 24 months of age should ride in the back area when traveling.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, recommends that babies ride in rear-facing seats until they are at least one year old and weigh 20 pounds or more. Furthermore, the weight and height restrictions provided by the manufacturer may be used to see whether the kid can keep using the rear-facing child safety seat.

Arkansas Forward-facing Car Seat Law

The law makes no mention of forward-facing car seats, although children should ride in rear-facing car seats as long as the manufacturer’s recommendation is followed. They can ride in a forward-facing seat once they have exceeded the limit of rear-facing seats set by car seat manufacturers.

Arkansas booster seat law for young kids

The minimum weight requirement for a booster seat in Arkansas has been lowered to 60 pounds for children 6 years old or older and weighing at least 60 pounds. The state believes that a regular safety belt is sufficient.

However, most experts agree that it is a good idea to use booster seats to ensure your kid’s safety until his or her normal seatbelts have a solid fit on his or her body. When a kid’s height is more than 4’9″ and age is at least 8 to 12 years, the seat belt should be used. Booster seats should be fastened with a latch system or belt system that includes lap and shoulder belts.

There are 2 types of booster seats:

  • High-back booster seats – If your car’s seat back is lower than your child’s ears, you have to use a high-back booster seat to protect your child’s head and neck.
  • Backless booster seats – If your car’s seat back is higher than your child’s ears, you can use a backless booster seat.

Requirements for children to use the front seat in Arkansas 

If you want your child to sit in the front seat, your child must be at least 60 pounds and 6 years of age. It’s always a good idea to double-check that the car’s seat belt fit is appropriate. You may utilize a booster seat until the vehicle’s seat belt fits snugly, whether your kid is older or not.

If you are confused about whether your child should use a booster seat or an adult seat belt only, this simple test will help you decide.

The Five-Step Seat Belt Fit Test:

  1. Is the child able to sit all of the way back against the auto seat?
  2. Are the child’s knees able to bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
  3. Is the belt crossing over the shoulder between the neck and arm?
  4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, with the thighs?
  5. Is it possible for the child to remain in this position the whole journey?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, your kid is not ready for an adult seat belt and still requires a booster seat to travel safely in the car. Boosters are popular with kids since they are more comfortable!

Taxi Car Seat Law in Arkansas 

Taxis are exempt from car seat laws, but if you have your own seat, they must give you enough time for installation.

Arkansas car seat replacement law after Accident

There are no laws mentioned in the Child Passenger Protection Act of Arkansas regarding the replacement of car seats after an accident.

NHTSA recommends that car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. Car seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.”

Law on leaving a child in a car in Arkansas 

From 1998 to 2018, seventeen children died in hot cars. In Arkansas, there are no laws restricting leaving infants alone in vehicles. However, parents have been convicted for the deaths of children caused by their carelessness.

Penalties For Violating Arkansas Car Seat Laws

A violation of Arkansas’ Child Passenger Protection Act may result in a fine between $25 and $100. If you didn’t properly attach a kid in a child passenger safety seat to the vehicle, the court will consider if you restrained the kid by other means, such as a correctly fastened safety belt, when determining the size of your penalty.

If you can satisfy the court with evidence that you have acquired, purchased, or rented an approved child passenger safety seat, you will only be fined $25.00. You may be charged a penalty of $25.00 and court costs for failing to wear a seat belt in Arkansas.

When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Arkansas?

The law states that children can ride in the front seat once they reach 60 pounds and are 6 years old or more. However, most experts recommend that children should be at least 4’9″ tall or 12 years old in order to wear seat belts.

Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Arkansas?

Yes, it’s illegal to smoke in a car with a child passenger present according to 20-27-1903 of Arkansas car seat law.

Child passenger safety related videos Arkansas

Buckle Up for Life | Car Seat Safety Training

Car Seat Safety By Age: Infants in Rear-facing

Using LATCH to Install Car Seats and Booster

Child Passenger Safety Tips and Guidelines

USA Child Passenger Safety Laws by State


Click on your state on the map below to see your state’s car seat law

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