June 28, 2012

Arizona Child Car Seat Law Changes 8/2/2012

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For years Arizona has been one of the few states with very lenient laws regarding children and car safety restraint systems. That will all change on August 2, 2012 when Arizona Revised Statutes 28-907 is amended to improve child safety in vehicles for Arizona children. House Bill 2154 was signed into law in early May by Governor Jan Brewer and brings significate changes to how some children will ride in vehicles.

Current (through August 1, 2012)

  • Children under 5 must be in an appropriate child restraint system
  • Children over the age of 5 are not mandated to be in a child restraint system
  • No weight limit stated
  • No height limit stated

UDATED 8/2/12: strikethrough above

New Law as of August 2, 2012

  • Children under 5 must be in an approved child restraint system
  • No weight limit stated
  • Children between the ages of 5 and 8 AND are no more than 57 inches tall (4 feet, 9 inches) MUST be in a Child Restraint System, which is defined, by law, as an Add-On Child Restraint System, a Built-in Child Restraint System, a Factory-Installed Built-In Child Restraint System, a Rear-Facing Child Restraint System or a Booster Seat as defined in 49 Code of Federal Regulations Section 571.213.
  • If stopped by law enforcement, the driver provides the age AND height of the child or children in the vehicle if asked

The change is significant because it is very likely that many children between the ages of 5 and 8 (this applies to all children who have had their 5th birthday but have not yet had their 8th birthday) who were no longer using a booster seat must now go back to using one. The requirement of both age AND height mean that those children who are tall for their age may graduate out of a booster seat prior to age 8. However, it’s not an OR requirement which means that if the child is between 5 and 8 years old AND is under 4 feet, 9 inches the child MUST be in a child restraint system.

Children over the age of 8 who are not yet 4 feet, 9 inches are not required to sit in an approved child restraint system.

If your child needs to be in a child restraint system and you can not afford one, contact your local fire department, Phoenix Children’s Hospital or Tucson Medical Center for information on how to obtain one for free.

The full text of the amended law is available online.

Sara

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