Child Seat Safety

G.S. 20-137.1(a1) reads as: "(a1) A child less than eight years of age and less than 80 pounds in weight shall be properly secured in a weight-appropriate child passenger restraint system. In vehicles equipped with an active passenger-side front air bag, if the vehicle has a rear seat, a child less than five years of age and less than 40 pounds in weight shall be properly secured in a rear seat, unless the child restraint system is designed for use with air bags. If no seating position equipped with a lap and shoulder belt to properly secure the weight-appropriate child passenger restraint system is available, a child less than eight years of age and between 40 and 80 pounds may be restrained by a properly fitted lap belt only."

NOTE: Senate Bill 1218, was ratified by the N.C. Legislature on July 15, 2004. The changes went into effect Jan. 1, 2005.

Ages/Positions Covered
Children less than age 16 in front or back seats are covered under this law. Drivers and passengers 16 years old and older are covered by the N.C. Seat Belt Law.

Vehicles Covered
Federal standards require all vehicles to have seat belts. Generally, that includes cars made after 1967 and light trucks and vans made after 1971.

Vehicles not required to have belts (such as cars made before 1968 and pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans made before 1972, and large buses)

  • Ambulances and other emergency vehicles
  • If child's "personal needs" are being tended to
  • If all seating positions with belts are occupied

Driver responsible for all children less than sixteen

  • Penalty not to exceed $25
  • Full court costs apply ($263)
  • Two driver license points
  • No insurance points
  • No conviction if child is less than four and proof presented at trial that CRD has been acquired since violation

Note: If you live in the Triangle you can schedule an appointment to have your child restraint seat properly installed.  Call 919-733-3911 for additional information.