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Colorado Car Seat Laws in 2019

Colorado Car Seat Laws in 2019

In Colorado law, a child under the age of eight must be properly restrained in a child restraint system according to the manufacturer’s instructions when being transported in a motor vehicle or a vehicle operated by a child care center.

A child restraint system is a seating system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards; is designed to protect, hold, or restrain a child in a motor vehicle to prevent or minimize injury in an accident; and is affixed by a universal attachment system, by a seat belt, or permanently. A motor vehicle is a passenger car, a pickup truck, or a van, minivan, or sport utility vehicle weighing less than ten thousand pounds.

Babies Under One Year Old

A child under the age of one year old and weighing less than twenty pounds must be properly restrained in a rear-facing car seat in the rear seat of the vehicle.

Children One to Three Years Old

A child between the ages of one and three years old and weighing at least twenty pounds but less than forty pounds must be properly restrained in a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat.

Children Four to Eight Years Old ,

A child between the ages of four and eight years old must be properly restrained in a child restraint system according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Children Eight to Fifteen Years Old

A child between the ages of eight and fifteen years old must be properly restrained in a child restraint system according to the manufacturer’s instructions or in a safety belt conforming to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

A safety belt is a lap or shoulder belt, a combined lap and shoulder belt, or any other belt or combination of belts not included in a child restraint system which have been installed in a motor vehicle to restrain drivers and passengers. To properly use a safety belt, the lap belt must cross the hips and touch the thighs and the shoulder belt, if present, must cross the shoulder and chest.

Children Sixteen to Seventeen Years Old

A child between the ages of sixteen and seventeen years old must be properly restrained in a safety belt conforming to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Penalties for Violations

Violations are class B traffic infractions subject to a $65.00 fine and a $6.00 surcharge. A driver under the age of eighteen years old whose passengers are not properly restrained or wearing safety belts may be fined up to $50, sentenced to 8 to 24 community service hours, and assessed 2 license suspension points for a first offense; fined up to $100, sentenced to 16 to 40 community service hours, and assessed 2 license suspension points for a second offense; and fined up to $150, sentenced to 16 to 40 community service hours, and assessed 2 license suspension points for any subsequent offense. Your fine may be waived if you prove that you have acquired a child restraint system by the time of your court appearance.

Exemptions 

A child is not required to be properly restrained in a child restraint system according to manufacturer’s instructions if he or she is: under the age of eight years old and being transported in a motor vehicle without an available child restraint system due to a medical or other life-threatening emergency; being transported in a commercial motor vehicle operated by a child care center; driving the motor vehicle and subject to safety belt requirements; or being transported in a motor vehicle operated by a common carrier, contract carrier, or limousine service.