Car seat laws are a complex and highly technical area of law. Connecticut car seat laws make it clear that your child is safer in a car seat than not. They are not only safe, but they provide them with more protection than even an adult seat belt can provide. But there are a few things you need to know about Connecticut car seat laws and how they apply to you and your family.

The rules surrounding car seat use are quite strict in Connecticut and can be quite confusing for parents who do not know the ins and outs of these laws. This article provides an overview of Connecticut’s Car Seat Law, including the child restraint requirements and the most common car seat recalls. Let’s explore the rules concerning car seats in Connecticut in detail to help you understand how these laws work.

Connecticut Car Seat Law

Connecticut Car Seat Laws

According to the child restraint law of Connecticut,

“Any person who transports a child six years of age and under or weighing less than sixty pounds, in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to use a child restraint system approved pursuant to regulations adopted by the Department of Motor Vehicles in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54”

Connecticut Car Seat Laws

Connecticut Rear-facing Car Seat Law

Connecticut car seat laws state that children under the age of two and weighing less than 30 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing seat with a 5-point harness.

In this situation, the child’s weight is the determining factor because an infant will continue to use his or her seat until he or she weighs 30 pounds or more, regardless of age. The rear-facing seat must be licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles and secured in the back seat away from any active airbag.

Connecticut Forward-facing Car Seat Law

Toddlers between the ages of 2 and 4 years old weighing 30-39 pounds are required by law to ride in a forward-facing seat with a 5 point harness. If you believe your kid is too young for his or her year, you can move him or her to a rear-facing seat until the manufacturer’s weight and height limits are exceeded.

Connecticut booster seat law for young kids

Connecticut law requires that children use a booster seat (or harnessed car seat) until they are 8 years old or weigh 60 pounds. Make sure your booster seat follows the minimum and maximum size requirements of the manufacturer; most now want a minimum age of 4 years, 40 inches tall, and 40 pounds.

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 Connecticut 

Unfortunately, there is no Connecticut front seat age requirement. The legislation only prohibits the use of a rear-facing car seat in the front seat if a passenger airbag is activated.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children should wear a seat belt every time they ride in a car when they are 4’9″ tall. This is due to the fact that automobile seat belts were created with an average adult’s height in mind, so someone shorter than 4’9″ may not be comfortable wearing them.

If you are confused about which restraint system does your child need, this simple test will make it clear to you whether your child needs to use a booster seat or just a seat belt.

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 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 Connecticut 

Connecticut is one of 35 states that exempt cabs from child seat regulations. However, it is suggested that you bring one along and keep your child secure during the trip in a car. The driver, cannot prevent you from using a child protection system.

Connecticut car seat replacement law after Accident

Connecticut law is not clear when it comes to car seats that have been in car accidents. It is common sense to change the seat if the seat has been in a major accident. You never want to use a seat again because its structural integrity has been compromised. If an accident happens, follow the manufacturer’s directions in the instruction manual.

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 Connecticut 

It is illegal to leave a child in a vehicle, even if the engine is not running, no matter how hot or cold it is outside. You may be charged with a felony for leaving a minor younger than 16 years old in a motor vehicle. In this case, the legislation is quite harsh, therefore even placing the child alone for less than 5 minutes is highly discouraged. Regardless of the circumstances, we strongly advise you never to leave a kid inside a vehicle alone.

Penalties For Violating Connecticut Car Seat Laws

A seat safety belt violation is considered an infraction. A person between the ages of 15 and 18 will be fined $75 for the first offense, but points will not be added to his or her driving record.

An infraction is the first violation of the child safety seat legislation. For a first or second infraction, you must complete a Department of Motor Vehicles-approved or -offered child automobile seat safety course. Your drivers’ license might be revoked for up to two months if you do not attend or finish the course. If you are convicted of a second or subsequent violation, you will be fined up to $199.00. You may be sentenced to a year in jail, fined up to $1,000, or both for a third or subsequent offense.

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

It’s not yet illegal. However, through the bill HB06285, Connecticut is attempting to make it illegal to smoke in a vehicle with children. This legislation has yet to be passed, so for now, it’s not illegal to smoke in a car with a child passenger.

Child passenger safety related videos Connecticut 

New child safety seat laws in Connecticut

Is your child’s car booster seat safe?

Learn How To Keep Children In Car Seats Safe

How to Install Child Car Seats – Basics and Beyond

USA Child Passenger Safety Laws by State


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