A Summary of Child Car Seat Laws in Georgia
What are the Height and Weight Requirements for Car Seats in Georgia?
What are the Rear Facing Car Seat Laws in Georgia?
According to the Georgia Child Passenger Safety Law, children 3 years or under who weigh less than 20 pounds are required to ride on a rear-facing child safety seat. Also, all children under 1 year must sit on a rear-facing seat. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends children should use a rear-facing seat until age 2 or until they exceed the car seat manufacturer’s height and weight recommendations. So in line with this recommendation, only transition your child to the next seat if he or she weighs 20 pounds or more and is at least 2 years old. Additionally, the seat must be secured in the back seat at all times and away from an active airbag.
What are the Forward Facing Car Seat Laws in Georgia?
The law in Georgia allows children of age range 1 to 3 years who weigh 20 pounds or more to ride on a forward-facing car seat. Additionally, a child can transition to this seat if he or she has outgrown the rear-facing seat by exceeding the height and weight requirements. This type of seat typically has harness straps that restrain the baby during a car crash by limiting movement. As a result, the baby’s fragile neck and spine are protected from injury. The law requires a rear-facing car seat to be secured in the back seat and away from an active airbag. Once your child has surpassed the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements, it is deemed safe for them to graduate to a booster seat.
What are the Booster Seat Laws in Georgia?
Children aged 1 to 7 years who weigh over 40 pounds and with a height of less than 4’9’’ are required to ride on a booster seat together with a lap and shoulder belt. However, most children attain the required weight when they are at least 4 to 7 years old. A booster seat is designed to raise your children so that the regular car seat belt fits properly over your child’s body. A proper fit means the shoulder belt lies firmly across the chest and the lap belt snugly crosses the upper thighs. Keep your child in this seat until he or she is 4’9’’ or taller or until the manufacturer’s guidelines have been exceeded. In instances where a vehicle is not equipped with a shoulder and lap belt or when the belts are being used to secure other children, a child of at least 40 pounds can be secured with only a lap belt.
Law on Children 8 to 18 Years of Age Who are shorter than 4'9" in Georgia
Children in this age group who have a height of less than 4’9’’ are required to use a booster seat until such a time when they attain this height.
When Can a Child Use the Front Seat in Georgia?
Typically, children can sit in the front seat when they are old enough and have met the height requirements of a seat belt. However, the state of Georgia requires children younger than 8 years to sit in the back seat. So, this means your child can legally sit in the front seat after this age. Most experts agree it is a good practice for children to remain in the back seat until they are 13 years old. Also, parents should ensure a seat belt fits properly (shoulder belt across the chest and lap belt across the upper thighs).
Children who are over the age minimum but smaller than 4’9″ are required to use a booster seat until they turn 18.
What if my Car Doesn't Have a Rear Seat?
Georgia car seat laws cover cars that have no rear seats. The law states children under 8 years can only ride on child restraint devices placed in the front seat when the vehicle has no rear sitting positions, or when all the rear sitting positions have been used to properly secure other children. Also, it is illegal to place a child under 8 years in the front seat if there is an active airbag. The booster seats in the front seat must also use both shoulder belts and lap belts.
Is it Illegal to Leave a Child Inside a Vehicle in Georgia?
There are no laws specifically regarding leaving children unsupervised in a car seat. However, you can be charged with reckless behaviour using other laws if you do so. We recommend that you never leave your child alone in the car for any length of time.
Are Car Seats Required in Taxis in Georgia?
Taxis are exempted from complying with the child restraint laws in Georgia.
More Georgian Laws