Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of children's death in the US. While these crashes can't always be prevented, using the correct safety restraint can minimize injuries and save lives.
Just like any states in the US, the state of Arkansas agrees that child safety is essential. That's why the Arkansas Code includes laws on car seats and car belts governing how children can safely ride motor vehicles.
Read on to learn the appropriate Arkansas car seat laws to help keep your child safe and reduce fatal injuries.
Table of Contents
- Arkansas Child Safety Seat Laws
- Safety Seat Recommendations
- Penalties for Violations
- Effect of Noncompliance
- Child Passenger Protection Fund
- Recalls and Recommendations
- Replacement After an Accident
Arkansas Child Safety Seat Laws
The state of Arkansas agrees that a child's safety during travel is important. Thus, the Arkansas Code includes laws that will protect infants and children as they ride a motor vehicle. The Child Passenger Protection Act lists the following requirements:
(a) While operating a motor vehicle on a public road, street, or highway of this state, a driver who transports a child under fifteen (15) years of age in a passenger automobile, van, or pickup truck, other than one operated for hire, shall provide for the protection of the child by properly placing, maintaining, and securing the child in a child passenger restraint system properly secured to the vehicle and meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards in effect on January 1, 1995.
(b) A child who is less than six (6) years of age and who weighs less than sixty pounds (60 lbs.) shall be restrained in a child passenger safety seat properly secured to the vehicle.
(c) If a child is at least six (6) years of age or at least sixty pounds (60 lbs.) in weight, a safety belt properly secured to the vehicle shall be sufficient to meet the requirements of this section.
Remember that these car seat laws are only the starting point. There are countless car seats available. So, you should know how to choose the best for your child.
Read more —
Safety Seat Recommendations
The use of rear-facing car seats applies for children until at least one year of age and under 20 pounds.
The use of forward-facing car seats applies to children until around four years old and 40 pounds.
3. Younger Children
The use of booster seats applies for children until eight years old, unless they are 4' 9" tall.
4. Older Children
The use of seat belts applies to children who are eight years old or older.
5. Front Seats for Children
A child may begin to ride the front seat at the age of 13, given that their height and weight properly fit the car's seat belt.
The seat belt should allow proper adjustment and fastening to ensure security when transported in a motor vehicle operated on the street or highway.
6. Passenger in a Wheelchair
Those seated in a wheelchair in a motor vehicle should wear a seat belt properly adjusted and fastened to the wheelchair.
Be sure that the wheelchair is also secured to the motor vehicle.
Your children may be exempted from the Arkansas Child Passenger Protection Act for the following reasons:
Penalties for Violations
A violation of the Arkansas Child Passenger Protection Law may lead to a $25 to $100 ticket. For offenders who present satisfactory proof of acquisition or purchase, the court will impose only a fine of $25.00.
Effect of Noncompliance
The failure to provide a safety seat to a child passenger shall not be considered as evidence of comparative or contributory negligence, nor proof in a trial for any civil action. Neither its failure can be regarded as evidence for any prosecution for negligent homicide.
Child Passenger Protection Fund
A special revenue fund is created and known as the Arkansas Child Passenger Protection Fund. This is consists of:
The Arkansas Highway Safety Program shall reserve at least fifty percent of the fund's annual expenditures to purchase child passenger safety seats, which shall be loaned or rented to hospitals, groups, or other individuals.
Part of the fund should earmark the balance of the money in conducting public awareness to encourage child passenger safety and promote proper safety belts usage. A certain allocation of the Child Passenger Protection Fund will be allocated for highway safety planning and administration.
Recalls and Recommendations
Car seats should be registered to ensure that they are federally-approved. This also entitles you to receive any notice of recalls. You may register with the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA) to receive any recall information about your seat.
Replacement After an Accident
Currently, there is no Arkansas law requiring manufacturers to replace the car seat in case it is damaged in a crash.
However, you can more likely include the cost of the replacement in the sum of the damages if the other driver involved was at fault in the car accident.
Be sure to discuss this matter with your injury attorney.