As parents, we all want to keep our children safe when they are in the vehicle. Kentucky Car Seat Laws require parents to ensure their children are properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat when riding in a vehicle. This means any Kentucky driver, regardless of age, needs to be aware of this law and the appropriate way to restrain their child.

Kentucky Car Seat Law

Kentucky Car Seat Laws

According to the child restraint law of Kentucky,

“Any driver of a motor vehicle, when transporting a child of forty (40) inches in height or less in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, and highways of this state, shall have the child properly secured in a child restraint system of a type meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Kentucky Car Seat Laws

Kentucky Rear-facing Car Seat Law

Any child who is less than 40 inches tall must be secured in a proper child restraint system under Kentucky law. This regulation is stated by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety as follows:

You should keep your children in an infant seat until they reach 20 pounds and are 12 months old. After that, use a forward-facing seat until the vehicle’s seat.

The seat should be placed in the back of the vehicle whenever possible. Also, make sure your kid is secured with the harness straps according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Kentucky Forward-facing Car Seat Law

When the youngster grows up and outgrows his or her infant seat, he or she must use a forward-facing seat with a harness. The age requirement for using a forward-facing car seat is at least 5 years old, and the weight restriction is 40 pounds.

Kentucky booster seat law for young kids

Children in Kentucky must ride in a car seat or booster seat until they are 4’9″ tall or 8 years old. Children under the age of 40″ tall are not allowed to use a booster seat in Kentucky. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your booster seat, which is generally 4 years old, 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.

When can a child stop using a booster seat in Kentucky?

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety advises keeping children in booster seats until they reach at least 80 pounds. However, most experts agree that height is more important because a 4’9″ height is required to fit into seat belts.

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety recommends that you allow your child to sit upright in a seat belt if they can maintain their back straight against the back of the seat and knees bent at the edge of the seat without slouching.

Requirements for children to use the front seat in Kentucky 

In Kentucky, there is no specific age requirement for riding in the front seat. The state, however, permits children who are at least 8 years old and are 57 inches tall to ride in a car with a seat belt. This means it is not illegal for your child to sit in the front seat as long as he or she is wearing a seat belt.

According to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, regardless of whether an airbag is installed or not, the front seat exposes youngsters to a danger of bodily harm. The office also claims that children younger than 13 years should ride in the back seat.

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!

Kentucky car seat replacement law after Accident

According to the official website of Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet, if you have been in a vehicle accident, you should replace your seat. After six years, a baby’s car seat must be replaced if it is still in good working order.

NHTSA recommends that car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe collision, but not always after a minor one. If required, you can also seek a replacement from your insurance providers. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions for both the vehicle and the car seat before using it.

Law on leaving a child in a car in Kentucky 

If your child is left alone in a vehicle and he or she is harmed or dies, you may be convicted of felony manslaughter. We strongly advise against leaving a child alone in a car. 

Penalties For Violating Kentucky Car Seat Laws

If the driver fails to restrain the children under forty inches tall as required by Kentucky’s official rules, he or she will be fined $50 but no points will be added to his or her license.

A $30 penalty will be assessed for failing to use a booster seat as required in Kentucky, but no demerit points will be recorded on the license. The first-time offenders may, however, opt to purchase a booster seat rather than paying the fine. Finally, failure to follow Kentucky seat belt legislation costs you $25 and no demerit points on your license.

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

In the state as a whole, smoking with a child passenger is not illegal. However, smoking is illegal in certain locations, such as Shepherdsville. Check with your local health department to see whether there are any restrictions.

Child passenger safety related videos Kentucky 

Rear-facing Car Seats for Babies: Safety Tips

Car Seat Safety: Front-facing Install & Child Placement

Understanding the Basics of Car Seat Safety

Is your child’s car booster seat safe?

USA Child Passenger Safety Laws by State


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

Share this, Sharing is caring :)

Similar Posts