Oregon’s Child Occupant Protection Laws
Child Restraint Law: Child passengers must be restrained in approved child safety seats until they weigh 40 pounds. Infants must ride rear facing until they reach both one year of age AND 20 pounds.
Booster Seat Law: Children over 40 pounds must use a booster seat until they are age 8 OR 4'9" in height.
Safety Belts: A child taller than 4'9" OR age 8 or older must be properly secured with the vehicle's safety belt. The child is properly secured if the lap belt is positioned low across the thighs and the shoulder belt is positioned over the collarbone and away from the neck. The failure to properly use safety belts or child restraints is a Class D traffic violation with a $142.00 fine—ORS 811.210 and ORS 815.055, effective October 1, 2009.
National “Best Practice” Recommendations
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises:
1. Children should ride rear facing in their child safety seat until they reach the upper height or weight limit of the seat.
2. Children under age 13 should ride in the back seat, which reduces the risk of crash injury by 37%.
3. Children riding in a forward facing child safety seat with a harness, should remain in that seat until they reach the upper height and weight limits of the seat before graduating to a booster seat.
Additional “Best Practice” Suggestions
· Attend a check-up event or meet with a child passenger safety technician to make sure children are riding safely—visit www.childsafetyseat.org for a calendar of events or call.
· Refer to your child safety seat manufacturer's manual and the car seat information in your vehicle owner's manual for specific details.
Rear Facing: Never place a rear facing child in front of an active frontal air bag.
Forward Facing: Use the top tether when possible.
Booster: Continue riding in a booster seats until the lap and shoulder safety belt fit properly, even if age 8 or older or taller
than 4'9" in height.
When is my child ready to ride in a safety belt?
1. Is the child tall enough to sit with their back against the vehicle seat back?
2.Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
3.Does the belt cross the shoulder over the collarbone?
4. Is the lap belt low, touching the thighs?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
A “No” answer means the child needs a booster seat for best protection.