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New Washington Child Seat Belt Law

Posted by Scott Edwards | Jan 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

A new law was passed in Washington State that went into effect on January 1, 2020. This affects the requirements for restraining children in child-specific safety seats while traveling in cars and trucks on Washington roadways. The new law requires all children under the age of two to sit in a rear-facing car seat until they exceed the height and weight limit set by the child seat manufacturer.

Between the ages of two and four, children must ride in a forward-facing seat with a five-point harness until they reach the height or weight limit of the seat.

Finally, all children under four feet nine inches must use a booster seat “until the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belts fit properly, typically when the child is between the ages of eight and twelve years of age, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, or must be properly secured with the motor vehicle's safety belt properly adjusted and fastened around the child's body.”

The law requiring that all children under the age of 13 sit in the back seat of the vehicle did not change—this is still required.

Drivers failing to adhere to these requirements can be ticketed with a traffic infraction. Though, speaking from first-hand legal experience, I have seen the real harms that can be caused when these laws are not followed. Children are just more susceptible to injury, and even death, when not properly restrained inside a vehicle.

Whether you're responsible for your own children or others' protect them by seeing that they are safely buckled inside your vehicle.

About the Author

Scott Edwards

Scott Edwards is a partner at Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards law firm. Scott is licensed in both Oregon and Washington, and has been practicing law since 2008. Though Scott started his career working for insurance companies, he now focuses his practice on personal injury, auto accident, biking accident, and insurance cases. In his free time, Scott enjoys spending time pedaling around the streets of Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon on his bicycle.

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