Arizona has recently enacted new child safety restraint requirements. Learning what is required under the new law can help keep your child safe and can also help you avoid legal issues. Â If you have any legal questions or concerns regarding this law, contact the experienced and knowledable Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Wattel & York for more information.
These requirements are based on three factors: the childâ€™s age, weight, and height. For children under a year old, Arizona law requires a rear-facing car seat that supports the entire body, including the head and neck areas. Legal restraints are required to move with the child so the support is not lost during an accident. Keep the legal maximum of 20 pounds for a rear-facing car seat in mind when buying a car seat for your baby.
For children over a year old who have not yet learned to walk, a forward-facing car seat is required. Although designed for children weighing a minimum of 20 pounds, different seats have different maximum weights, so make sure you look at what the particular weight limit for the seat is before buying and installing it.
Both of these types of seats may be designed to face in one direction only. Other may be intended to face either direction, depending on the childâ€™s age. Just check that the seat is in the age-appropriate position before driving.
Booster Seats and Other Regulations
From the age of 4 until a child is over 4â€™9â€ť and 80 pounds, a booster seat is required to make certain that the seatbelt â€“ designed for adult bodies â€“ is in the proper restraining position for a childâ€™s body. Know where the lap and shoulder belts are supposed to be for proper restraint, and try the seat out to make sure it is adjusted properly. Booster seats can either have a back or just a base, depending on whether your car has head restraints or not.
Once a child is over 80 pounds and is 4â€™9â€ť tall, the regular seat and lap belt system can be used. No penalties will be assessed unless the child is not wearing his or her seat belt at all.
Confirming Your Seat Safety
If you are worried about whether your seat is installed properly, have your installation officially inspected and approved. There are a number of resources available for guaranteeing your safety seat is installed correctly, such as police and fire stations. Individuals at these locations can also help you with the installation process. Take advantage of these services for your peace of mind.
Child safety restraints have a recommended maximum service life of six years. If you are in any accident other than a minor fender-bender, the child seats should be replaced as soon as possible. This requirement ensures the natural wear and tear on a seat does not make it unsafe, as well as giving you access to newly developed safety features. Also make sure you register your safety restraint. These products are often recalled, and unless you register your seat, you will not get recall notifications.
If you are found driving without an appropriate child restraint in Arizona, you get points on your license and are assessed a $50 fine. These charges may be dismissed with proof of the acquisition of an appropriate seat.
Responding to Charges Related to Car Seat Safety
If you were assessed these penalties, have since acquired the correct seat for your childâ€™s age and weight, and live in the Phoenix area, contact Wattel & York. With 45 years of combined experience with Arizona law, we understand the details of the system and will apply our knowledge to your case. By highlighting your current compliance with the law and explaining the circumstances that led to your past noncompliance, our auto accident lawyers in Phoenix, AZ will give you the best shot at getting the charges against you dismissed.