If you are a parent or guardian in the state of Virginia, it is important to be aware of the car seat laws in2022. Recently, the law changed to require that children up to 8 years old must be seated in a car seat or booster seat. In this blog post, we will discuss the new law and provide tips on how to ensure your child is safely secured while travelling in a vehicle.
What you need to know about 2022 Virginia car seat laws
- All children under the age of eight must be properly secured in a car seat or booster seat while riding in a vehicle.
- The type of seat required depends on the child’s weight, height, and age.
- Children who are over 80 pounds or over 57 inches tall may be able to use an adult seat belt if it fits properly.
- If you are unsure if your child meets the requirements for an adult seat belt, it is best to err on the side of caution and use a booster seat.
Fines and penalties for not following the law
If you are caught driving without adhering to the new car seat laws, you may be subject to a fine of $50.
Not only is it important to follow the law for the safety of your child, but also to avoid costly penalties.
Exemptions to the law
There are a few exemptions to the new car seat law. If you are transporting a child for medical reasons or if you are driving a school bus, you are not required to use a car seat or booster seat.
Additionally, if you are driving a vehicle that is not equipped with safety belts, you are exempt from the law.
Rear facing car seat law
In 2022, all children under the age of two must ride in a rear-facing car seat in Virginia. This law is based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Rear-facing car seats are the safest option for young children. They protect your child’s head, neck, and spine in a crash.
Forward-facing car seats
Children who are over the age of two and weigh more than 40 pounds may ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
As your child grows, you will need to adjust the harness straps to ensure a snug fit.
Child booster seat laws in Virginia
Children who are over the age of four and weigh more than 40 pounds may use a booster seat.
A booster seat raises your child up so that the adult seat belt fits properly across their chest and lap.
It is important to note that children should remain in a booster seat until they are big enough to fit an adult seat belt safely.
Virginia Car Seats Laws for Public Transportation
As of January 2022, all children under the age of eight will be required to use a child safety seat or booster seat while riding in a motor vehicle on a public highway in Virginia. All car seats must be properly installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Children who are seven years old or older and weigh more than 80 pounds may be restrained by an adult safety belt.
Smoking in vehicles with children present
Another law that went into effect in January 2020 is the prohibition of smoking in a vehicle when children under the age of eight are present. This law applies to all vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. If you are caught smoking in a vehicle with a child under the age of eight, you may be subject to a fine of $250.
Can you leave children unattended in vehicles?
It is never recommended to leave children unattended in a vehicle, even for a short period of time. However, there are circumstances where it may be necessary. If you must leave a child unattended in a vehicle, make sure the child is in a safe location, such as the back seat of the car.
The child should also be secured in a car seat or booster seat. Additionally, make sure to leave the car running with the air conditioning on so that the child does not get too hot.
General Seat Belt Law in Virginia
All drivers and passengers in a vehicle must be properly restrained by a seat belt. This includes both the driver and front passenger, as well as all passengers in the back seat. Failure to wear a seat belt is punishable by a fine of $25.
Wearing a Seat Belt While Pregnant
Pregnant women are advised to wear a seat belt at all times. The lap portion of the seat belt should be worn underneath the stomach, as close to the hip bones as possible. The shoulder strap should be positioned between the breasts and away from the neck.
Airbag Law in Virginia
All vehicles manufactured after January 1998 are required to have airbags in the front seat. Airbags are designed to protect occupants in a frontal collision. However, they can be dangerous to small children and infants. For this reason, it is important to make sure your child is properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat when riding in a vehicle with airbags.
When can a baby face forward in a car seat in Virginia?
In Virginia, a baby may face forward in a car seat once they are at least one year old AND weigh at least 20 pounds. Before that, they must ride rear-facing.
Can a 5 year old sit in a booster seat?
A child must be at least four years old to ride in a booster seat, and five is recommended.
What is the age and weight for a booster seat in Virginia?
The legal age and weight for a booster seat in Virginia is four years old AND 20 pounds. However, it is recommended that children ride in boosters until they are at least five years old.
What is the law for booster seats in Virginia?
The law in Virginia requires that all children under the age of eight ride in a child safety seat or booster seat.
[Virginia General Assembly, “Virginia’s Child Passenger Safety Laws”](h ttps://virginiadriverslicense.org/traffic-safety-laws/child-passenger-safety/)
[AAA Mid-Atlantic, “Child Passenger Safety”](ht tps://exchange.aaa.com/safety/child-passenger-safety/#virginia)
[Virginia Department of Health, “Smoking in Vehicles with Children Present”](ht tps://virginiadriverslicense.org/smoking-vehicles-children/)
[The Spruce, “Can You Leave a Child Unattended in a Car?”](ht tps://thespruce.com/can-you-leave-children-unattended-in-cars/)
[Virginia General Assembly, “Seat Belt Laws”](htt ps://virginiadriverslicense.org/traffic-safety-laws/seatbelt/)
[Women’s Health, “Seat Belt Safety for Pregnant Women”](htt ps://womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/youre-pregnant-now-what/stay-healthy-fit/seatbelt-safety)
[National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Airbags”](ht tps://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/810696)