Vermont Car Seat Laws
The car seat laws in Vermont specify which age and weight a child must be to ride in each type of car seat. Furthermore, booster seat laws state when a child is no longer required to ride in booster seats. Laws and regulations such as these are put in place to make sure children are safer in vehicles.
Given the fact that car accidents are a leading cause of injury or death for children younger than 13 years of age, it is crucial that all drivers transporting children learn the regulations for safe travel.
Failing to follow laws, such as the correct booster seat age in Vermont, can result in fines and tickets. Parents and all other caregivers, such as senior drivers like grandparents, who travel with children can receive these consequences for using improper restraints for children.
In the sections below, drivers can learn more about car seat safety and find out how to choose the right type of car seats for children.
What are the car seat laws in Vermont?
Most laws for car seats in Vermont are based on a child’s weight, height or age. The licensed driver of the vehicle is responsible for making sure all passengers are properly secure and will be held liable for consequences, such as fines, for passengers not adhering to local driving laws. The following car seat regulations are the most important points to keep in mind before buying a car seat for your child:
- All children who weigh less than 20 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing seat regardless of age.
- All infants younger than one year of age need to be in a rear-facing seat.
- Children between one and eight years of age who weigh more than 20 pounds must be secured with a car seat that is appropriate for the child’s height, weight or age.
- Children between eight and 15 years of age may ride with an adult seat belt with or without a booster seat as appropriate.
When it comes to child car seat safety in Vermont, note that you cannot get an exemption from the law based on your child’s physical or medical condition. In order to accommodate children who are not able to use traditional safety seats due to a physical condition, you may ask your pediatrician for help.
Alternatively, you may contact the Governor’s Highway Safety Program at 1-888-868-7328 for more information.
Penalties for Violating Car Seat Regulations in Vermont
Failing to follow the booster seat weight requirements in Vermont or any other regulations can lead to a variety of traffic tickets. Without adhering to laws, such as those relating to the correct car seat ages, you can face the following consequences:
- A $25 fine for the first offense
- A $50 fine for the second offense
- A $100 fine for the third offense and all subsequent offenses
If you are ticketed for not following the correct booster seat weight or any other regulations, then you will not receive points on your driving record. However, it is still unsafe to travel without adhering to the child car seat laws if you are transporting children younger than eight years of age.
Types of Car Seats
If you want to avoid paying a traffic ticket, then you must be aware of the different types of child car seats are available. The car seat regulations in Vermont specify which type of seat you need to use based on your child’s weight or age. Understanding the correct car seat weight is especially important for babies.
Remember, all children who weigh less than 20 pounds must be fastened into a rear-facing seat. A rear facing car seat is only recommended for children who weigh less than 20 pounds. Once your child turns one year of age or reaches 20 pounds, you may choose from the following types of forward-facing seats:
- Convertible car seat designs, which start as a rear-facing seat but can transform into a forward-facing seat with a tether and harness as soon as your child reaches the correct weight or age
- Combination car seats, which converts from a forward-facing seat to a booster seat once your child is ready
- All-in-one seats, which are considered some of the best car seats for your money, as they change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat and then finally to a booster seat when your child reaches the correct weight
- Backless booster seats, which simply prop your child up to the correct height required for wearing an adult seat belt with a lap and shoulder strap
- Booster seats with high backs, which provide children with the required height to wear an adult seat belt, while also providing neck and back support. These are some of the safest car seats for vehicles that do not have high seat backs or headrests
No matter what, the best car seat for your child will be one that is suited to his or her age and size. Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications when determining what type of seat you should buy for your child. Not all styles are designed to be used for children of all sizes. Similarly, not all seats are compatible with every type of car.
For example, you cannot use a booster seat in vehicles that only have lap belts, as these seats are only intended to be used with belts that have both lap and shoulder straps.
Car Seat Installation Information
Learning how to install a car seat is crucial, as even the safest seat can be a hazard if you do not anchor it correctly. Always refer the specifications and instructions that came with your car seat rather than making generalizations.
For example, the correct booster car seat age can vary based on each manufacturer’s design, meaning that your child may not be at the correct age or weight for every booster seat on the market. When installing a car seat, follow these steps:
- Read the instructions that came with your seat and anchor the seat according to the exact specifications.
- Take your vehicle to a local inspection station where an expert will make sure the seat is properly installed. Police stations, medical centers and health departments commonly provide inspections.
- Register the seat with the manufacturer so that you can be made aware of recalls and any other important safety information.