Child Restraint Laws in NC

by | Oct 17, 2017 | Blog Posts, NC Criminal Defense

Drivers are often rightfully concerned about getting points on their driving record. As many people know, DMV points can eventually lead to license suspension. While people tend focus on speeding and other moving violations, they are generally not aware of child restraint laws. If you get a traffic ticket for a child restraint violation, such as child not in rear seat, you should contact a North Carolina traffic lawyer right away.

Overview of child restraint law

Child restraint rules largely depend on the age of the child and what kind of child restraint is in question (Booster seat, or car seat). Primarily, all children less than 16 years of age must be properly restrained in a vehicle, in a seated position at all times. The rest of the details of the rules depend on what age range the child in question falls under. The age, and to some extent the child’s weight will determine the appropriate restraint.

Types of child restraints – Any type of child restraint is legal to use in North Carolina as along as:

  • It is certified to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213,
  • The child is within the weight and height range specified for that particular child restraint, and
  • The child restraint is being used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Rear facing car seat

  • In North Carolina a child must be in a rear facing car seat until the child is generally about a year old and 20 pounds.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be kept rear-facing for longer than that for maximum protection, but that is not required under North Carolina law.

Front Facing car seat or Booster seat

  • Generally, when the child is over the age of 1 and at least 20 pounds.
  • Car seat or Booster is required until the child is 8 years old or 80 pounds

No Restraint required other than seat belt

  • When the child reaches the age of 8, regardless of weight or when the child reaches the weight of 80 pounds, regardless age it is legal for the child to be out of the booster seat.

Consequences of a child restraint ticket in North Carolina – A Defendant who pleads guilty or responsible (which is what occurs when you simply pay the ticket), receives:

  • 2 points on their driver’s license, and
  • A fine of about $263

When you get a traffic citation in North Carolina, it is best to contact a Traffic Attorney before just simple paying the fine. At Gilles Law you have access to Traffic Lawyers that can be hired to handle most traffic matters without you having to make an appearance. Contact us for more information.

DISCLAIMER – This forum is intended for general questions and comments about the particular law or topic. Comments are public and are not protected by confidentiality or attorney-client privilege; therefore, they can be used against you in court. Please refrain from revealing your identify or specifics about any actual criminal case. No attorney-client relationship is created in this forum.

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