• Funded through Federal 402 Highway Safety Funds via the PENNDOT

Pennsylvania's Child Restraint Laws

Learn what the law is in the state of PA and if you and your family are following it.

SUMMARY OF PENNSYLVANIA'S CHILD PASSENGER PROTECTION LAWS

(Act 53, 1983 / Act 22, 1993 / Act 229, 2002 / Act 81, 2011 / Act 43, 2016)

All drivers operating a passenger car, Class I and Class II truck, classic motor vehicle, antique motor vehicle or motor home shall securely fasten infants and children under 8 years of age in an approved child restraint/booster when the child is riding anywhere in the motor vehicle, including the cargo area. The car seat / booster seat may be in any seating position in the vehicle that is equipped with a seat belt. (However, for maximum protection, a back seat is preferable.)

  • All drivers transporting children under 4 years of age are responsible to securely restrain those children in an approved child passenger restraint system.
    • A child younger than two years of age shall be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system, to be used until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the car seat manufacturer. (Primary Law)
    1. Violators may be stopped as a primary offense for non-compliance with the Child Passenger Protection Law for children birth to age 4. Violators will be fined $75.00, plus Court Costs (adjusted annually); $45.00 Surcharge; $10.00 EMS Fund and $10.00 Administrative Costs.
    2. The fine shall be dismissed if the person prior to or at his hearing displays evidence of acquisition of a child passenger restraint system/booster. Evidence shall include a receipt mailed to the appropriate court officer, which evidences purchase, rental, transferal from another child seat owner (by notarized letter) or bailment from a bona fide child seat loaner program.
  • All drivers transporting children 4 years of age or older but under 8 years of age are responsible to securely restrain those children in a seat belt system and an appropriately fitting child booster seat. (Primary Law)
    1. Violators may be stopped as a primary offense for non-compliance of the Child Passenger Protection Law for children age 4 to age 8. Violators will be fined $75.00, plus Court Costs (adjusted annually); $45.00 Surcharge; $10.00 EMS Fund and $10.00 Administrative Costs.
    2. The fine shall be dismissed if the person prior to or at his hearing displays evidence of acquisition of a child passenger restraint system/booster. Evidence shall include a receipt mailed to the appropriate court officer, which evidences purchase, rental, transferal from another child seat owner (by notarized letter) or bailment from a bona fide child seat loaner program.

An approved child passenger restraint system is labeled indicating that the child restraint

conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Fines collected are placed in a fund and used to purchase car seats for loaner programs.

Civil immunity for child passenger safety technicians and lenders of car seats has been granted. No certified child passenger safety technician or organization acting in good faith, within the scope of the national standardized child passenger safety training, and without a fee or charge to the owner or operator of the vehicle, shall be liable for an act of omission that occurs in giving advice or assistance regarding the inspection, installation or adjustment of a car seat. No person or organization who lends child restraints shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any acts or omission, except any act or omission intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent act or omission resulting in harm to another.

Hospitals are required to notify parents of the location of car seat loan programs in the community. It is recommended that hospitals also provide information on the Pennsylvania's Child Passenger Safety law. Providing educational materials about the law and correct selection and use of car seats will assist families in keeping their children safe during travel.