Oklahoma has strict laws regarding the safety of child passengers in vehicles. Parents and guardians need to understand these laws to ensure the safety of their children while traveling on the road. The state’s Child Passenger Safety (CSP) Law requires licensed drivers to properly secure children in an approved safety seat that complies with the law.
The CSP law requires children under two to sit in a secure rear-facing seat. Children between the ages of four and eight need to be secured in a car seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4’9″. Once a child is eight years old or taller than 4’9″, they are no longer required by law to sit in a car seat. Nevertheless, children should always use seat belts and sit in the back seat for maximum safety.
Parents and guardians must follow these laws, as they are designed to protect children from injury and death in the event of a motor vehicle crash. It is also vital to ensure that the car or booster seat is installed correctly to provide maximum protection. If there are any questions about whether a child’s seat meets federal safety standards or if it has been recalled, one can call one of the inspection stations and talk to a certified technician.
Oklahoma Car Seat Laws Overview
Oklahoma has strict car seat laws to ensure children’s safety while traveling in a vehicle. The rules specify the type of car seat required based on the child’s age, height, and weight.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, all children under the age of two must always be secured in a rear-facing car seat while driving. Once a child is over two years old, they can be placed in a forward-facing car seat as long as they meet the height and weight requirements specified by the car seat manufacturer.
Children between the ages of four and eight must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are at least eight years old unless they are taller than 4’9″. If a child is eight years old or taller than 4’9″, they should wear a seat belt. Regardless of age, it is always safest for children to ride in the back seat of a vehicle.
It is important to note that car seats must meet federal safety standards and be installed correctly to be effective. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to have their child’s car seat inspected by a certified technician to ensure it is installed correctly and appropriate for their age, height, and weight.
Failure to comply with Oklahoma’s car seat laws can result in fines and penalties. Parents and caregivers must understand and follow these laws to keep children safe while traveling in a vehicle.
Age and Weight Requirements
According to Oklahoma Car Seat Laws, children under two must be adequately secured in a rear-facing car seat. It is recommended that infants remain in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants remain in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least two years old or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer.
After a child turns two, they can move to a forward-facing car seat with a harness. The child should remain in a forward-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer. The AAP recommends that children stay in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they exceed the size or weight limit of the car seat.
Once a child outgrows their forward-facing car seat, they should be placed in a booster seat until they are big enough to use a seat belt. Children should remain in a booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall or until the seat belt fits properly. The AAP recommends that children continue to use a booster seat until they are at least eight years old or until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall.
Children eight years old or older or taller than 4 feet 9 inches can use a seat belt. However, it is recommended that children continue to use a booster seat until the seat belt fits properly. The seat belt should fit snugly across the shoulder and chest, and the lap belt should fit across the hips, not the stomach.
It is important to note that these are minimum requirements and that parents and caregivers should follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer of their car seats. Additionally, it is recommended that children remain in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
Types of Car Seats
Regarding child safety in vehicles, it is vital to understand the types of car seats available and which are appropriate for your child’s age and size. Oklahoma car seat laws require children to use properly secured child restraint devices whenever they travel in a motor vehicle. Here are the three main types of car seats:
All children two years old or younger must always be secured in a rear-facing car seat while driving. Oklahoma rear-facing car seat law requires children to remain rear-facing (either in an infant car seat or a convertible car seat) until at least two years old unless they exceed the manufacturer’s size limits for their convertible car seat. Rear-facing seats are the safest option for infants and young children, providing better protection for the head, neck, and spine in a crash.
Once children are over two years of age, they are no longer required by law to be secured in a rear-facing car seat. Children between two and four years of age may use a forward-facing car seat. Forward-facing seats have a harness system that ensures the child’s upper body and shoulders. They are designed to protect children in a crash by distributing the impact force across the body’s most substantial parts.
Children between four and seven years of age must use a booster seat. Booster seats are designed to elevate the child so that the seat belt fits properly across the lap and chest. Children shorter than 57 inches must use a booster seat. Booster seats are essential because they help ensure the seat belt is positioned correctly to provide maximum protection during a crash.
By understanding the different types of car seats and following Oklahoma car seat laws, parents and caregivers can help ensure that children are appropriately protected while riding in a vehicle.
When installing a car seat with a seat belt, ensure that the seat belt is threaded correctly through the car seat and tightly secured. Once installed, the car seat should not move more than an inch in any direction. The seat belt should be locked to prevent it from loosening during travel. To do this, pull the seat belt out and slowly feed it back in while applying pressure.
It is important to note that some car seats are incompatible with certain seat belts, such as lap belts or automatic locking retractors. Always check the car seat manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the seat belt is compatible and used correctly.
The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system is a way to secure a car seat without a seat belt. Instead, the car seat is attached to the vehicle using anchors and tethers built into the car. When using the LATCH system, ensure the car seat is correctly connected to the lower anchors and the top rope. Once installed, the car seat should not move more than an inch in any direction.
It is important to note that the LATCH system has weight limits and may not be suitable for larger children. Always check the car seat manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the LATCH system is used correctly and appropriately for the child’s weight and size.
Overall, it is essential to carefully read the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual before installing a car seat. If you need help installing a car seat correctly, seek assistance from a certified technician. Proper installation is crucial for ensuring the safety of children in the event of a car accident.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
Oklahoma has strict laws regarding child car seat belt usage, and failure to comply with these laws can result in penalties. The maximum fine for a first offense is $50, which can increase to as high as $207.90 when court costs are included. For subsequent violations, the penalties can be significantly higher.
In addition to fines, drivers who violate Oklahoma’s child car seat belt laws may face the possibility of losing their license. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) may also suspend the $50 fine for drivers who can provide proof of acquiring an appropriate child restraint system after their first violation.
It is important to note that the penalties for non-compliance with these laws are in place to protect the safety of children. Car accidents are a leading cause of death and injury for children, and proper use of car seats and seat belts can significantly reduce the risk of harm.
Parents and caregivers should take the time to familiarize themselves with Oklahoma’s child car seat belt laws and ensure they comply. This includes understanding the appropriate type of car seat for a child’s age and size and how to install and use the heart correctly. By following these laws and best practices, parents and caregivers can help keep children safe on the road.
Exemptions to the Laws
Oklahoma car seat laws allow certain vehicles and situations to be exempted from the requirements. However, it is important to note that these exemptions do not mean children should not be properly secured in a car or booster seat.
According to Oklahoma Statutes §47-11-1112, child passenger restraint systems are required for specific vehicles, but exemptions are allowed. For example, vehicles manufactured before 1965 are exempt from the law, as they were not originally equipped with seat belts. Similarly, vehicles that do not have a passenger restraint device, such as a car seat or seat belt, are also exempt from the law. However, it is not safe to transport a child in a vehicle without a passenger restraint device.
Commercial vehicles are also exempt from the law, but only if the car is being used for transporting passengers for hire and the passengers are not children. If a commercial vehicle is transporting children, the driver must ensure that the children are correctly secured in a car seat or booster seat according to the child’s age, weight, and height.
It is important to note that even if a vehicle is exempt from the law, it is still recommended that children be properly secured in a car seat or booster seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children be secured in a car seat or booster seat until they are at least eight years old or 4’9″ tall, regardless of the law in their state.
Car Seat Safety Tips
Regarding child passenger safety, proper use of car seats is crucial. Here are some tips to ensure your child’s car seat is installed and used correctly:
- Always use a car seat appropriate for your child’s age, height, and weight. Oklahoma law requires children under 8 to be properly secured in a car or booster seat.
- Make sure the car seat is installed correctly. Read the instruction manual carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Contact a certified technician for assistance if you need help determining whether the car seat is installed correctly.
- Ensure that the car seat is facing the right direction. Infants should always be placed in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least two years old or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.
- Never place a car seat in the front seat of a vehicle. Children under the age of 13 should always ride in the back seat.
- Make sure the car seat is securely fastened in the vehicle. When pulled at the base, the car seat should not move more than one inch in any direction.
- Ensure that the harness straps are snug and secure. The harness should be fast enough that you cannot pinch any excess material at the child’s shoulder.
- Avoid using a car seat that has been in a crash or is past its expiration date. Most car seats have an expiration date of 6 years from the date of manufacture.
- Do not use aftermarket products like car seat covers or headrests unless the manufacturer approves them.
By following these tips, parents and caregivers can help ensure that their children are correctly secured in a car seat and reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of a motor vehicle crash.
Resources for Parents
Parents in Oklahoma can access various resources to help them understand and comply with the state’s car seat laws. The following are some helpful resources for parents:
Oklahoma Highway Safety Office
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) provides information on child passenger safety. Parents can visit the OHSO website or call one of their inspection stations to get information on whether their child’s car seat meets federal safety standards, has been recalled, or is installed correctly. OHSO also conducts high-visibility enforcement campaigns yearly to help save lives and increase seat belt usage.
Child Passenger Safety Program
The Child Passenger Safety Program is dedicated to preventing injury and death of children in the event of a motor vehicle crash. Parents can access information on proper child restraint use, which decreases the risk of death by 71% for infants (less than one-year-old) and 54% for toddlers (1-4 years old). The program also provides information on state car seat installation and inspection events.
Oklahoma Car Seat Laws
Parents can access up-to-date information on Oklahoma’s car seat laws on the OHSO website. The website provides information on child restraint systems’ age and size requirements, including rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. Parents can also find information on when children can transition to using a seat belt.
Oklahoma Child Passenger Safety Resource Center
The Oklahoma Child, Passenger Safety Resource Center, provides various resources for parents, including car seat installation videos, instructional materials, and a list of certified child passenger safety technicians in the state. Parents can also find information on upcoming car seat check events.
Overall, Oklahoma parents have access to various resources to help them comply with the state’s car seat laws and keep their children safe while traveling in a vehicle. By taking advantage of these resources, parents can ensure that their child is appropriately restrained and protected in the event of a motor vehicle crash.