A Summary of Child Car Seat Laws in Arkansas
- The Child Passenger Protection Act outlines guidelines for child protection in vehicles.
- Children younger than 24 months should sit in the back seat during travel.
- Forward-facing seats can only be used by children between the age of 4 to 7 and with a weight of 60-65 pounds.
- Arkansas law exempts children 6 years or older weighing at least 60 pounds from using booster seats.
- A child can sit in the front seat of a car once he or she is exempt from using booster seats.
- Children 15-17 years are required to wear a seatbelt when inside a moving car.
- Exemptions from using a child-safety seat can apply in case of disability or medical reasons.
Arkansas Car Seat Law
Arkansas enacted The Child Passenger Protection Act which provides a general guideline for passengers travelling with children. The law states that every driver who transports a child under the age of 15 while the vehicle is operating on a public road, street or highway should provide protection for the child using the appropriate child passenger restraint system that is secured to the vehicle in a reliable manner, and should meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Rear-facing car seat laws in Arkansas
The state of Arkansas has not defined a law that states the requirements needed for children to be placed in a rear-facing seat. However, the law requires children less than 24 months of age should be placed in the back seat during travel. Parents can use the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines which recommend that babies should use rear-facing seats until they are at least over 1 year old and weigh 20 pounds or more. In addition, the manufacturer’s weight and height limits can be used to determine whether the child can continue using the rear-facing child-safety seat.
Forward-facing car seat Laws in Arkansas
According to Arkansas law, children between the age of 4 to 7 and with a weight of between 60-65 pounds are required to use the forward-facing seats. These seats should have a 5 point harness and should always be secured when the car is in motion. Also, for maximum safety the straps in the seats should be tight enough such that is little to no space between the strap and the child’s shoulder. If the seat meets the federal motor vehicle safety standards, the child can use the seat until he or she has exceeded the height and weight limits of the seat contained in the manual.
Booster Seats in Arkansas
Arkansas law no longer requires children 6 years or older and with a weight of at least 60 pounds to use booster seats. The state considers a regular safety belt to be adequate. However, most experts agree that it is a good idea to use booster seats to secure your child until normal safety belts have a firm fit on your child’s body. This typically happens when a child’s height is more than 4’9’’ and when age is at least 8 to 12 years. Booster seats should be secured with a latch system or belt system that includes lap and shoulder belts.
Front-seat Requirements in Arkansas
The law allows parents to use regular seat belts once their child weighs at least 60 pounds and is 6 years old or more. However, seat belts usually fit on children when they are at least 4’9’’ tall or 12 years of age. The seat belt is considered fitting if the shoulder belt firmly lies across the shoulder and the lap belt lies across the upper thighs. If this requirement is met, then it is safe for the child to use the front seat.
Children between 15 to 17 years in vehicles in Arkansas
A child in this age range is required by law to wear a seat belt that is fastened properly and secured to the vehicle when driving or as a passenger in a vehicle that is in motion.
Exemptions in Arkansas
A child can be exempted from following The Child Passenger Protection Act if he or she is being transported in a vehicle which is being used as an emergency vehicle. Also, this applies if the child is unable to use a safety seat due to medical reasons that have been certified by a physician. In case of a disability, your child can be exempted as long as a physician has certified the disability stating why safety seats may not be suitable in such a situation.
Are Car Seats Required in Taxis in Arkansas?
Commercial vehicles such as taxis and other for-hire vehicles are exempted from complying with the state’s car seat laws.
*Note – While it may be legal to transport your child without the appropriate safety device, it is not recommended.
More Arkansas Laws