Car seats are not just for children. In fact, it is imperative that adults in the car should be buckled up as well. Maine’s Child Passenger Safety Law is a relatively new regulation, but the law is still very relevant to those who drive. In fact, failure to properly install child car seats can result in steep fines and even jail time. With this in mind, it is important to learn about Maine’s car seat laws and understand your responsibilities when driving with a child in the car.

Maine Car Seat Law

Maine Car Seat Laws

According to the child passenger safety law of Maine,

“When a child who is less than 2 years of age is being transported in a motor vehicle that is required by the United States Department of Transportation to be equipped with safety seat belts, the operator must have the child properly secured in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions in a child safety seat.” 

Maine Car Seat Laws

Maine Rear-Facing Car Seat Law

Maine law requires children under the age of two to ride in rear-facing car seats that meet federal safety requirements. Parents can choose between infant-only seats and convertible seats, which often have greater weight and height restrictions.

Maine Forward-Facing Car Seat Law

Children over the age of two years and weighing less than 55 pounds are required to ride in forward-facing seats with an internal harness. Additionally, children should exceed the rear-facing seat’s maximum weight and height restrictions prior to switching. Ascertain that the harness straps are securely fastened across the child’s chest. This assists in decreasing the crash forces applied to the child in the event of an automobile accident.

Maine Booster Seat Law

Children under the age of 8 who weigh less than 80 pounds and are shorter than 57 inches must ride in booster seats that have been approved by the federal government. This law says that these children must ride in them. They are meant to raise children so that they can fit into regular seat belts. To keep your child safe, the law says that you must use lap and shoulder belts (avoid using lap-only belts with booster seats.) In this case, the lap portion should be snug across the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt should be flat across the chest.

Requirements for Children to Use the Front Seat in Maine 

Children under the age of 12 who weigh less than 100 pounds are required to ride in the back seat if one is available. Experts believe, stating that airbags in the front seat can be dangerous to children in the event of an accident. Additionally, the back seat is considered to be safer than the front seat.

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:

  • Is the child able to sit all of the way back against the auto seat?
  • Are the child’s knees able to bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
  • Is the belt crossing over the shoulder between the neck and arm?
  • Is the lap belt as low as possible, with the thighs?
  • 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 Maine 

Taxis are not subject to these laws, but that doesn’t mean you should not use child safety seats in taxis.

When traveling with a baby, it is always recommended to bring your own car seat. This is because the taxi companies do not have enough resources to accommodate all the different types of car seats and there are some instances where they will not even provide you with a car seat. So when traveling in a taxi, make sure that you bring your own car seat.

Maine Car Seat Replacement Law After Accident

Maine has no laws governing the replacement of car seats. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that seats be changed following serious car accidents. This is because car seats can develop small cracks that are difficult to detect, making them potentially harmful to use after an accident. Some seats also have expiration dates, so make sure to check the follow the manufacturer.

Law On Leaving a Child in A Car in Maine 

It is not prohibited in Maine to leave a child unaccompanied inside a vehicle. We recommend that you never leave your child unattended in a vehicle for any period of time.

There are many dangers that can happen if you leave your child unattended in a car. The most obvious danger is that your child will get into hot temperatures and be dehydrated. Another danger would be that there may be toxic substances left by other people in the car, such as gas or drugs.

Finally, it’s important to remember that your vehicle can become hot enough to cause severe burns on your child’s skin if left for long periods of time.

Penalties for Violating Maine Car Seat Laws

A traffic infraction is a breach of Maine’s child safety seat or seat belt law. A first offense may result in a fine of $50.00, a second offense may result in a fine of $125.00, and a third or subsequent offense may result in a fine of $250.00. A court cannot suspend a fine imposed for violating the child safety seat or seat belt laws.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Sit in the Front Seat in Maine?

According to the law, if your child is 12 years old or more than 100 pounds, they can sit in the front seat with a seat belt.

Is It Illegal to Smoke in A Car with A Child in Maine?

Yes, according to a new Maine law, it is illegal to smoke in a car with minor passengers.

Smoking in a car with a child present can be hazardous to the health of both the child and the smoker.

The dangers include:

  • Increased carbon monoxide levels may lead to death.
  • The chemicals in cigarettes produce tar which is harmful to children’s lungs and bloodstream.
  • Smoking can cause anemia, dehydration, or malnutrition if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Child Passenger Safety Related Videos Maine 

New car seat regulations in Maine

Infant car seat installation

Car Seat Safety: Front-facing Install & Child Placement

Simple Steps to Child Passenger Safety

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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