Child Passenger Safety

Georgia law requires all children under the age of 8 to be properly restrained in an appropriate child passenger safety seat or booster seat when riding in a passenger automobile, van, or pickup truck while the vehicle is in motion on any public road.

To make sure your child’s safety seat or booster seat is property installed and is appropriate for your child’s age, height, and weight, you can the Traffic Unit to consult with an officer who is a certified child safety seat technician. Research shows that use of child passenger safety seats greatly reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a crash if they are properly installed, but sometimes they can be difficult to install.  Our officers can make sure you’re set up properly. Here’s more information on Georgia’s laws for occupant safety and kids:

Georgia’s Child Passenger Safety Laws: What you need to know.

O.C.G.A. § 40-8-76

Who is Covered?

  • All children under eight years of age riding in a passenger automobile, van, or pickup truck while the vehicle is in motion on a public road, street or highway of Georgia.

Who Must Comply?

  • All drivers on Georgia roadways with (see exemptions).

Vehicles Exempted

  • Taxi cabs
  • Public Transit

Other Exemptions

  • In a vehicle not equipped with both lap and shoulder belts or in instances that lap and shoulder belts are being used to properly restrain other children, a lap belt can be used to restrain children weighing at least 40 pounds.
  • If parent can show that the child’s height is over 4’9″.  The child still must be restrained by a safety belt. In addition, code section 40-8-76.1 (e)(3) stipulates that each minor six years of age or older who is an occupant of a passenger vehicle must be restrained by a safety belt. “Passenger vehicles” are defined as every motor vehicle designed to carry 10 or less. The definition includes pick-up trucks for occupants under 18.

Other Helpful Information:

  • Do not buy used car seats/boosters from yard sales or flea markets.  Child safety seats have expiration dates (generally around 6 years from the date of manufacture) due to the materials in car seats break down over time.  Also, child safety seats should be replaced if they have been in a crash.  They are also subject to recalls from the manufacture for replacement or repairs.  You won’t be able to know the history of the seat if you buy it second-hand.
  • What age can you turn your child from a Rear-Facing Position to a Forward-Facing Position? Per Georgia law, you can turn the child around at the age of One Year.  However, it is safer to leave the child in a rear-facing position as long as he/she still fits comfortably in that position.  A child’s neck muscles develop at different rates and even a child beyond the legal requirement may not be strong enough to endure the forces generated by a crash.