A top priority for parents and caregivers is to keep children safe on Missouri roads. One slight barrier to accomplishing this goal is understanding proper use of car seats. Not only can some manufacturers’ instructions seem overwhelming and confusing, but the difficulty also lies in following Springfield traffic laws. Here are some useful tips based on state requirements for drivers who have little ones on-board.
What You Need to Know about Springfield’s Car Seat Laws
Traveling safely with your children includes being familiar with laws in the state. Just as drivers and passengers are required to wear properly adjusted and fastened seat belts, the law has preferences for car seats. While there is no legal standard for rear-facing car seats, every child age three and younger is required to be in a child safety seat.
This includes children who weigh less than 40 pounds. For children who weigh at least that much, are between four and seven years old, and are 4 feet 9 inches or shorter can be in either a car seat or booster seat. The weight for this age range is up to 80 pounds.
According to Springfield traffic laws, children weighing 80 or more pounds and are taller than 4 feet 9 inches can be in a booster seat or use a seat belt. For all children under 16, the law states that they should ride in the back seat and wear a seat belt. There is a maximum fine of $50 for failing to comply with either of these child safety laws.
Proper Installation is Very Important
In addition to following Springfield’s traffic laws, it is very important to ensure car seats are installed properly. The manual that came with your car seat is the best place to begin; the owner’s manual to your car is also a good source of information to keep your little one riding comfortably and safe.
Make sure you install the car seat in the back seat. Securing it means the seat does not move any more than one inch after pulling on the belt path.
Fit Children Correctly in Car Seats
In general, make sure straps are not twisted and appropriately positioned on your child’s body to keep her secure. Do not be discourages if you are unsure about fitting your child’s car seat correctly. There are many resources available online for parents to learn more about safety seats. Some resources offer an overview of different types of seats along with general guidelines on use.