Montana has some of the strictest car seat laws in the country. If you’re transporting children in your vehicle, you need to make sure that they are buckled up properly. Here’s what you need to know about Montana car seat laws.
- Montana Car Seat Laws
- Montana Rear-Facing Car Seat Law
- Montana Forward-Facing Car Seat Law
- Montana Booster Seat Law
- Requirements For Children To Use The Front Seat In Montana
- Taxi Car Seat Law In Montana
- Montana Car Seat Replacement Law After Accident
- Law On Leaving A Child In A Car In Montana
- Penalties For Violating Montana Car Seat Laws
- How Old Do You Have to Be to Sit in the Front Seat in Montana?
- Is It Illegal to Smoke In A Car With A Child In Montana?
- Car Seat Inspections Help In Montana
- Child Passenger Safety Related Videos Montana
- More Information And Resources On Car Seat Safety in Montana
- USA Child Passenger Safety Laws by State
Montana Car Seat Laws
According to the child passenger Protection Act of Montana,
“If a child under 6 years of age and weighing less than 60 pounds is a passenger in a motor vehicle, that motor vehicle must be equipped with one child safety restraint for each child in the vehicle and each child must be properly restrained. The child safety restraint must be appropriate for the height and weight of the child as indicated by manufacturer standards.”
Montana Rear-Facing Car Seat Law
Montana’s child car seat law makes no provision for rear-facing seats. However, the majority of experts agree that infants should ride rear-facing until they reach the age of two. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends that children remain rear-facing for as long as possible or until they outgrow the manufacturer’s recommended maximum weight and height.
Montana Forward-Facing Car Seat Law
Children 2-4 years old who have outgrown rear-facing seat limits can move to forward-facing seats, according to the Montana Highway Traffic Safety Division. If your child has outgrown the rear-facing position in a convertible seat, it is generally safe to turn the seat forward.
A child should remain forward-facing until he or she reaches the manufacturer’s specified age, weight, and height limits.
Montana Booster Seat Law
The Montana Highway Traffic Safety Division recommends that children ages 5-8 ride in booster seats if their height and weight exceed the manufacturer’s height and weight restrictions for forward-facing seats. Booster seats come in two distinct styles: high-back and backless. If your vehicle lacks a headrest to support your child’s head and neck, it is recommended that you use a high back. If the seat in your car is long enough to accommodate your child’s head, you can use one without a back.
Requirements For Children To Use The Front Seat In Montana
The law doesn’t say anything about front seat rules. Even so, the Montana Highway Traffic Safety Division says that kids should stay in the back seat until they are 13. This isn’t true, though. In line with the AAP’s recommendation, passenger-side airbags in the front seat can be dangerous to children because of the force with which they deploy. They also say that it’s better for kids to be 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:
- 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 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 Montana
The law is unclear regarding whether commercial vehicles such as taxis must adhere to the state’s car seat rules. Children who have been verified by a physician to have a disability, medical condition, or physical condition that makes child restraint devices unsuitable for usage are excluded.
Montana Car Seat Replacement Law After Accident
Montana does not have a law about replacing car seats. However, the Montana Department of Transportation says that parents should change their car seats after a crash. Safety experts say that if you have a second accident, you should get a new car seat. To be safe, don’t use car seats after a crash because they can have small cracks that are hard to see. Also, car seats usually have an expiration date of about 6 years. Make sure to check to see if yours has passed its expiration date before you drive.
“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 Montana
There is no law regarding leaving a child unattended inside a car, however, you can be charged with negligence if the child gets hurt. It is recommended to never leave your child unattended for any length of time.
Penalties For Violating Montana Car Seat Laws
In Montana, if you don’t use a child safety seat, you could be fined up to $100. If you show the officer that you have a child safety seat and that you haven’t already had a violation dismissed, your fine may be waived. You must do this within seven days of the offense.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Sit in the Front Seat in Montana?
The statute makes no reference to front seat requirements. The Montana Highway Traffic Safety Division, on the other hand, recommends that children ride in the back seat until they reach the age of 13.
Is It Illegal to Smoke In A Car With A Child In Montana?
But, 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.
Car Seat Inspections Help In Montana
- Bans on Smoking in Vehicles Carrying Children
- Bozeman Child Passenger Safety
- Cascade City-County Health Department Installation of Car Seats
- Child Care Connections Child Safety Seat Clinics
- City of Great Falls Car Seat installation
- CPS Technician Search: Find a CPS Technician
- Is it illegal to leave a child in the car?
- Missoula Rural Fire District Car Seat Installation
- Safe Kids Montana Inspection Stations
- The City of Butte-Silver Bow Child Passenger Safety
Child Passenger Safety Related Videos Montana
Infant car seat installation
Installing a Car Seat Properly
Learn How To Keep Children In Car Seats Safe
Is it time to move from a booster to a seat belt?
More Information And Resources On Car Seat Safety in Montana
- American Academy of Pediatrics Car Seat Recommendations
- American Automobile Association Car Seat Guide
- Booster Seat Guide
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention Child Passenger Safety
- Indiana University School of Medicine Best Practice Recommendations
- Montana Department of Transportation Child Passenger Safety
- NHSTA Safety Issues and Recall List
- Pediatric Patients Education Car Safety Seat Checkup
- Resources for Parents and Caregivers
USA Child Passenger Safety Laws by State
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