New Hampshire Car Seat Laws
New Hampshire car seat laws play a key role in keeping children safe each time they become a passenger within a motor vehicle. Booster seat laws are intended to provide the highest measure of safety precautions for a child. While each state has its own requirements for the law, it is important for drivers and parents to be aware of the laws for the states in which they reside as well as in the states they drive.
In addition to knowing the laws for car seats in New Hampshire, it is also important to be aware of the different types of child seats available. Car seat safety will only work at the highest capacity when the right seat and installation techniques are used. Find out tips for installing a car seat as well as where the free inspection stations in NH are located. To learn this and more, continue below.
What are the car seat laws in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire car seat law requires that a child younger than 18 years of age who is riding as a passenger be secured by either a seat belt or child safety seat. In conjunction, NH booster seat guidelines state that any child younger than six years of age be secured by a federally approved child restraint. It will be up to the driver to ensure that each passenger within his or her vehicle is properly restrained as per New Hampshire law. Drivers who fail to follow these laws are subject to receiving a traffic ticket.
There are four exceptions to this New Hampshire car seat requirement for children to be restrained, which include:
- In taxis and buses.
- In vehicles manufactured before 1968.
- When the child has physical conditions preventing the use of seat belts or child safety seats.
- Under certain special-education conditions.
If any of the above-mentioned circumstances are not met, then a child must legally be restrained as a passenger within the vehicle. These laws are in place to keep minors safe, particularly if there is an auto accident.
Penalties for Violating Car Seat Regulations in New Hampshire
Drivers who do not follow the New Hampshire car seat safety laws will be subject to strict fines and penalties. A police officer can pull over any driver for suspected non-use and issue a citation when necessary. If a driver fails to have a child passenger properly buckled up, then he or she will be responsible for paying a traffic ticket. The first offense will be a $50 citation and the second offense will be $100. Drivers should avoid any unnecessary fines by following the New Hampshire seat belt laws completely.
Types of Car Seats
Before becoming flustered with the child car seat options in New Hampshire, drivers should understand that there are only four options to choose from. Each of the various seats, from the infant car seat to the child seat, will cater specifically to a child’s age, height or weight. The four kinds of car seats on the market include:
- A rear facing car seat intended for children from birth to three years of age, as long as the weight and height restrictions of the car seat manufacturer are met.
- A forward facing car seat comes with a harness and a tether, to fully support children one to three years of age who meet the maximum requirements as per the seat manufacturer.
- A booster seat intended for children ages four to seven years of age who outgrow the harness and can properly use a seatbelt as long as a booster seat is attached.
- Safety belts intended for children who exceed the height and weight requirements for a booster seat, generally younger than 12 years of age.
The best car seats available are generally the seats which are considered convertible. A convertible car seat is the type that can go from one type of seat to another with just a bit of maneuvering. These seats are very common for parents who have fast-growing children or who prefer not to spend too much on multiple car seats for every age. A few of the safest car seats, convertible-style include:
- Britax Marathon ClickTight.
- Clek Fllo.
- Graco 4Ever.
- Evenflo Symphony DLX.
Car Seat Installation Information
New Hampshire booster seat weight, height and age recommendations are intended to provide the highest safety measures for children as passengers in a car. However, these recommendations will not mean much if the seats are not properly installed. A car seat must be correctly installed in order for the seat to function at the highest intended level.
For new drivers who are worried about car seat installation, there are various car inspection stations throughout New Hampshire that can help. However, local DMV office locations will not be able to assist. Certified technicians can verify that a seat is correctly installed to help provide a driver with peace of mind. Before visiting the technician, a few child seat installation tips which can help include the following:
- Always read the car seat manufacturer’s manual and vehicle manual.
- Find a seat that can be installed specifically to fit your vehicle.
- The car seat should not move more than one inch from side to side or front to back when installed.
- Rear facing car seats should always recline at the specified angle.
- Airbags should never be active in the space where a car seat is positioned.