Kentucky Car Seat Laws: What You Need to Know as a Parent

When you’re a parent, you have to stay on top of everything! Home, job, kids, car, neighbors’ complaints, and all these things are on your plate every day. 

Soon enough, you learn to appreciate every second of your time and start looking for more efficient ways to get things done.

So, instead of going through extensive legislative documentation about Kentucky car seat laws, you can refer to the on-point, straightforward article we wrote, extracting the info from the official documentation.

We care about children’s safety and try to make things a bit easier for parents with every article we write. Hence, if you’re staying in Kentucky, or live there, make sure you get familiar with the regulations!

Also, check out the other awesome tips we prepared for you and learn how to become a super-parent!

Kentucky Car Seat Law

kentucky car seat laws 2020

According to Kentucky car seat law, all children forty inches or less in height must be accordingly restrained in a federally approved restraint system.

Children less than fifty-seven inches in height and eight years of age must be secured in a booster seat.

Kentucky Rear-Facing Car Seat Law

As Kentucky Car Seat Law requires, your child should remain in the rear-facing child restraint system until he/she weighs at least twenty pounds AND is one year old.

However, as they further instruct, the best practice is to keep your kid in a rear-facing position until eighteen to twenty-four months.

Kentucky Forward-Facing Car Seat Law

The Kentucky car seat law allows for one-year-olds who weigh more than twenty pounds to drive in a forward-facing restraint system.

Still, it strongly recommends using the rear-facing restraint systems until its capacity can no longer support the child’s weight or height.

Booster Seat Law

When it comes to the booster seats, the Kentucky car seat law requires all children younger than eight, and between forty and fifty-seven inches in height to be safely accommodated in a booster seat.

Kentucky Seat Belt Law

kentucky car seat laws rear-facing 2020

According to the Kentucky car seat law, when your child turns eight or is taller than fifty-seven inches, you can secure him/her with a safety belt. However, they provide a quick test that may help you determine whether your child is really ready for a seat belt.

To determine this, you should answer the following questions:

  • Is your kid able to sit straight against the car seat?
  • Can he/she bend his/her legs at the knee on the edge of that seat?
  • Does he/she sit without slouching?
  • Is the lap belt sitting on his/her hips, while also meeting the thighs?
  • Is the shoulder belt at the center of his/her shoulders, crossing the collarbone?

If the answer to all five questions is positive, your child can safely use the seat belt, if not, you might consider keeping him/her in a booster seat a bit longer.

When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat?

According to the state of Kentucky’s official regulations, you should keep your child in the back seat until he/she turns twelve.

Also, NEVER install a car seat on the front seat. It is extremely dangerous because of the airbag system, so you always install a restraining system on the back.

The Penalties

If the children under forty inches tall are not restrained as instructed in the state of Kentucky’s official regulations, the driver will be fined $50, but no points will be assessed against his/her license.

For the violation of the booster seat regulations in Kentucky, a $30 fee will be charged, yet again no points will be assessed against the license. However, the first time offenders can choose to buy a booster seat instead of paying the price.

Finally, the failure to comply with Kentucky seat belt law results in a $25 fee and no points against the license.

Did You Know?

kentucky booster seat laws

Did you know that in 2020 solely, as of Wednesday, August 26, 2020, there have been 479 fatalities in the state of Kentucky?

On the other hand, research shows that child safety restraint systems are 71% effective in lowering the risk of fatality for children younger than one in car crashes, and 54% for toddlers.

Statistics further show that 90% of the child restraint systems are not installed correctly. This means that you risk your child’s wellbeing every day on the road by driving with an improperly installed child seat. 

So what can you do?

If you want to protect your child in a vehicle, the first step on your list should be to choose the right restraint system in accordance with your child’s:

  • Weight
  • Height
  • Age

The single right way to do it is to follow the NHTSA and American Academy of Pediatrics’ official recommendations

Once you’ve chosen the right seat in accordance with your child’s proportions and age, you need to make sure you install it properly. The most detailed instructions followed by video demonstrations and step-by-step instructions can be found on the web page of NHTSA once again. 

However, even if you installed the seat following the instructions precisely as they demonstrated, you cannot be 100% positive about it. Here is one video that demonstrates the importance of the correctly installed car seat in the prevention of the injuries

That is why you should visit one of the fitting stations in Kentucky, to get the restraint system thoroughly inspected by one of the professionals.

You can find a CPS technician on this link.

Get your car checked in one of the SafeKids Kentucky fitting stations.

You can also refer to the Kentucky State Police to check if they give free safety inspections of the car seats.

When you finish all of the steps listed above, the one last thing to do is register your current car seat so that you can be notified if the manufacturer discovers some issues with that model or eventually recalls it.

Educate Yourself 

kentucky car seat and booster seat laws

Another critical aspect of providing the safest ride to your kid and helping other parents do the same is gaining knowledge on the matter.

Did you know that there exists an extensive network of free car seat programs that can help you understand the car seat laws better, teach you how to install the car seats correctly, or even help you become a certified child passenger safety technician, yourself?

If this seems interesting, and you would be willing to participate, check out these two articles on the matter:

Final Thoughts

Children are the pearls of society. However, their innocence and inability to take care of themselves makes them vulnerable and fragile.

As a society, we have to do whatever we can to make sure that every second that passes every single child on this planet is safe and sound, especially on the highways.

If your finances do not provide enough to afford a car seat for your kid, reach out to the awesome organizations such as Buckle Up, and don’t ever risk your child’s safety.