Washington State Child Restraint Law Information

According to Washington State’s child restraint law, if you are driving someone 16 years of age and younger in a vehicle, it is your responsibility to make sure the passenger is properly buckled up. If your passengers are not properly secured, a ticket can be issued for each unbuckled or improperly buckled child. These tickets can cost at least $112. Here are some helpful tips to use when securing your young passengers:

-A child must use a restraint (an infant seat, child safety seat, or a booster seat) until their 8th birthday, unless the child is already 4 feet 9 inches tall (which ever comes first).

-When a child reaches their 8th birthday or is already 4 feet 9 inches tall, you need to check that the safety belt properly fits the child. There are 5 things you should look for:

1. Does the child sit all the way back against the seat?
2. Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat?
3. Does the lap belt stay on the top part of the thighs?
4. Is the shoulder belt centered on the chest and shoulder?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the entire trip?

-If you answer no to any of the questions above, the safety belt does not fit properly and the child needs to continue to use a restraint.

-A passenger under the age of 13 has to ride in the back seat (when it is practical to do so)

A helpful diagram of this information can be found at http://www.800bucklup.org/parent/images/2-StepsCPSLaw.pdf

For more information on this or other motor vehile issues, please contact our firm.

Information found at http://www.800bucklup.org/parent/images/2-StepsCPSLaw.pdf