It is no secret that Colorado has some of the most progressive laws regarding car seats. It is safe to say that the state knows what it is doing when it comes to the safety of its citizens. However, there are some laws you need to know about in order to make sure your child is properly protected while riding in a car seat. This article provides you with an overview of the Colorado car seat laws and how it can affect you and your family.
- Colorado Car Seat Laws
- Colorado Rear-facing Car Seat Law
- Colorado Forward-facing Car Seat Law
- Colorado booster seat law for young kids
- Requirements for children to use the front seat in Colorado
- Taxi Car Seat Law in Colorado
- Colorado car seat replacement law after Accident
- Law on leaving a child in a car in Colorado
- Penalties For Violating Colorado Car Seat Laws
- Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Colorado?
- Car Seat Inspections Help in Colorado
- Child passenger safety related videos Colorado
- More information and resources on car seat safety Colorado
- USA Child Passenger Safety Laws by State
- Best Car Seats of 2022: Ranked by Our Experts
- Find trusted locals for your every need
Colorado Car Seat Laws
According to the car seat law of Colorado,
“Every child who is under eight years of age and who is being transported in this state in a motor vehicle or in a vehicle operated by a childcare center shall be properly restrained in a child restraint system, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.”
Colorado Rear-facing Car Seat Law
Colorado state law requires that children under the age of 12 months and weighing less than 20 pounds be placed in rear-facing car seats.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, on the other hand, advises parents to keep their children in rear-facing seats until they are at least 2 years old
Colorado Forward-facing Car Seat Law
Children between the ages of 1 and 4 weighing 20 to 40 pounds are required by state law to ride in a vehicle using a rear-facing seat (if they have not met the height and weight requirements) or a forward-facing seat.
This means your child can’t switch to a forward-facing seat if he or she is less than 20 pounds and over one year old. Children should continue to use a forward-facing restraint system until they reach the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Colorado booster seat law for young kids
When a child outgrows the forward-facing car seat, he or she is usually ready to use a booster seat in the rear seat with either a lap belt or shoulder belt. Booster seats should never be used with lap-only seat belts. Colorado law states that kids need to use a car seat or booster until they are 8 years old. Some kids will not fit in a seat belt properly, so they need to be in a car seat. Children should be kept in a booster seat until they reach the height of at least 4’9″. When it comes to traveling, the rear seat is always the safest option for children.
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 Colorado
If your child is at least one year old and weighs more than 20 pounds, they can stay in the front seat under Colorado law.
However, this is not advised and it is against AAP recommendations. While you are legally obligated to use a child safety seat until the age of eight, placing any child safety seat in the front seat is hazardous. Once children reach the age of at least 8 years old and measure 4’9”, they can move from a booster seat to a regular seat belt. However, the back seat is always a safer option for kids.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Colorado
Taxis are not required to follow Colorado child restraint law. the law says,
“This section does not apply to a child who:
Is being transported in a motor vehicle that is operated in the business of transporting persons for compensation or hire by or on behalf of a common carrier or a contract carrier as those terms are defined in section 40-10.1-101, C.R.S., or an operator of a luxury limousine service as defined in section 40-10.1-301, C.R.S.
Colorado car seat replacement law after Accident
It is strongly recommended that you change your car seat following a collision. To understand the requirements, Colorado law refers you to contact the seat maker.
however, “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 Colorado
There are no laws in Colorado restricting parents from leaving children unattended in a vehicle seat. Depending on the state in which you reside, it is possible that leaving your kid unattended inside a car could be considered reckless behavior under various laws. We advise that you never leave your child alone in the vehicle for any length of time, regardless of where you live.
Penalties For Violating Colorado Car Seat Laws
“Violations are Class B traffic infractions subject to a $65.00 fine and a $6.00 surcharge. A driver under the age of eighteen years old whose passengers are not properly restrained or wearing safety belts may be fined up to $50, sentenced to 8 to 24 community service hours, and assessed 2 license suspension points for a first offense; fined up to $100, sentenced to 16 to 40 community service hours, and assessed 2 license suspension points for a second offense; and fined up to $150, sentenced to 16 to 40 community service hours, and assessed 2 license suspension points for any subsequent offense. Your fine may be waived if you prove that you have acquired a child restraint system by the time of your court appearance.” (source)
Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Colorado?
It is not yet against the law to smoke in a vehicle with a child passenger. but smoking in a car with a child passenger is not recommended.
There are many risks associated with smoking, especially when it is done around children. Secondhand smoke can cause respiratory problems, asthma, and other health issues in kids.
Car Seat Inspections Help in Colorado
- Colorado Department of Transportation Inspection Stations
- Colorado Spring Police Department fitting Stations
- Colorado Springs Car Seat Check Resource List
- Car Seat Inspection Stations by NHTSA
- Castle Rock Fire and Rescue Car Seat Safety
- Child Passenger Safety Seat Inspections – 211 Colorado @ car seat line 970-254-4112
- City of Boulder Car Seat Checks
- City of Longmont Child Car Seat Checkpoint
- Federal Heights Car Seat Check-Up
- Garfield County Free car seat inspections
- Grand County Child Safety Seat Inspection Station
- Safe Kids Colorado Springs
- Safe Kids Denver Metro
- Schedule a Car Seat Safety Check with the Poudre fire
- South Metro Fire Rescue Authority
- West Metro Fire Rescue Car Seats Check
- Westminster Fire Department Car seat inspections
Child passenger safety related videos Colorado
Q&A: Child Passenger Safety Tips and Tricks
Rear-Facing Child Safety Restraint Systems
NHTSA Child Passenger Safety Week
What you need to know about car seats
More information and resources on car seat safety Colorado
- Car Seat Safety Tips
- CDC Child Passenger Safety
- Child Restraint Requirements
- Children’s Hospital Colorado Car Seat Guidelines
- CHOP Child Safety Seat Checklist
- Colorado Department of Transportation Car Seats
- Evans Fire Protection District Child Car Seat Safety
- Safe Kids Worldwide Ultimate Car Seat Guide
- South Metro Safety Foundation South Metro Safety Foundation
- Why is Car Seats Important?
- Why Use Rear-facing Car Seats?
USA Child Passenger Safety Laws by State
FIND YOUR STATE’S CAR SEAT LAWS
Click on your state on the map below to see your state’s car seat law
Best Car Seats of 2022: Ranked by Our Experts