Car seat laws vary from state to state. Here are Georgia's child car safety laws.
- All children under the age of six must ride in the back seat of a car.
- Children under the age of eight are required to be in either a car seat or a booster seat (law changed as of July 1, 2011).
- If there is not a back seat in the vehicle or if other restrained children are in the back seat, Georgia law allows a child under the age of six to sit in front in a car seat or booster.
- Georgia’s Primary Safety Belt Law allows law enforcement officers to issue a citation if they observe a seat belt offense. They do not need to stop the driver for another traffic violation first.
- Failure to obey Georgia law can result in a fine of up to $50 and one point against your license per child. The second offense brings a fine of $100 and 2 license points.
- Car seat laws do not apply to children riding on school busses, in taxi cabs, or on public transportation.
Georgia recommends these car seat guidelines for children. These recommendations are not laws.
- Children should be rear-facing until they are age one AND 20 pounds. This is a minimum guideline - the longer they are rear-facing, the better.
- After children outgrow their rear-facing car seats, they should ride in a forward-facing car seat until they are age four AND 40 pounds (check the specific guidelines of your car seat).
- When children outgrow their forward-facing car seats, they must remain in a booster seat until they are age eight. However, experts recommend children stay in a booster until they are eight AND 4 feet 9 inches tall.
- After children outgrow the booster, they should use a seat belt wherever they sit in the car. Experts recommend that children remain in the back seat until they are age 12.
If you cannot afford a car seat for your child, you may be eligible to receive a free one. Most counties in Georgia have a grant to provide car seats to low-income families.