Effective June 1, 2007, the Washington State Occupant Protection Law will require children up to the age of 8 or 4'9" to ride in booster seats. For more information on the current state law and changes that will take affect June 1, 2007, please review the following fact sheet:
Children under 13 years old be transported in the back seat where it is practical to do so.
Children up to their 8th birthday, unless they are 4'9" tall (57 inches), be transported in a child restraint system. For example, a child car seat, booster seat, vest, or other restraint that is federally approved for use in the car.)
The restraint system must be used according to the car seat AND vehicle manufacturer's instructions.
Vehicles equipped with lap-only seat belts are exempt from the requirement to use a booster seat.
Children 8 years-of-age or at least 4'9" who wear a seat belt MUST use it correctly, (NOT under the arm or behind the back.)
Child Restraint Law Continues to include:
Infants must ride in a rear facing car seat until they are one year of age or weigh 20 pounds (whichever comes first).
Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for both the child restraint and the vehicle.
Children 1-4 years old or weighing 20-40 pounds (whichever comes first) must ride in a forward facing child safety seat with a harness.
A baby needs to remain rear facing until at least one year of age and until he/she weighs at least 20 pounds. If the label on the car seat says the seat may be used rear-facing up to 30 or more pounds, this is safer than riding forward facing.
Kids 4-6 years old or weighing 40-60 pounds (whichever comes first) must be in a booster seat if the vehicle is equipped with lap and shoulder belts.
Keep the child in a forward-facing seat with a harness as long as they fall within the height/weight recommendations for the seat. Be care not to graduate your child to the next stage too soon.
The law requires everyone to wear the seat belt correctly. The driver can be given a ticket if the seat belt does not properly fit the child. (For example: the shoulder belt crosses the face or neck; the shoulder belt is under the arm; the shoulder belt is behind the back; or the lap belt is up on the tummy).
Booster seats are recommended until the child is 8 years old and weighs 80 pounds unless the child is about 4'9" tall. The vehicle must have a lap and shoulder belt to use a booster seat.
For more information, please contact the Spokane Child Passenger Safety Team Hotline at 509/232-2985.
Need Your Car Seat or Booster Checked?
To ensure your child passenger safety seat is installed properly, please schedule an appointment with one of the fitting stations listed below:
WA State Occupant Protection Laws and Fitting Station Locations
Washington State has two occupant protection laws, 1) Washington's Seat Belt Law and 2) Washington's Child Restraint Law. Please access the flyer below from the WA State Safety Restraint Coalition that will explain what you need to know about the laws and information on where you can have your car seat checked by a certified technician