Buckle up the tots, folks! The Tennessee Child Restraint Law has specific requirements in place to ensure the safety of all child passengers.
It is a parent or caregiver’s responsibility to make sure that the guidelines are followed. Anyone not following the rules can be fined $50 per violation. Make sure you know what’s required to keep your tiniest passengers as safe as possible. Here is what Tennessee requires:
Infants – A child between 0 and 1 year old and weighing less than 20 pounds must be in an infant-only or rear-facing convertible car seat facing backwards in the backseat of the vehicle. The harness straps must be at or below shoulder level.
Toddlers – Children older than 1 year and weighing 20 – 40 pounds must be in a forward-facing convertible car seat in the back seat of the vehicle. Harness straps should be at or above shoulder level.
Young children – Ages 4 – 8 weighing more than 40 pounds and measuring less than four feet, nine inches in height must be facing forward in the back seat of the vehicle in a belt-positioning booster seat. The booster must be used with both lap and shoulder belts. The lap belt must fit snugly across the hips/upper thigh area, and the should belt should fit snugly across the shoulder and mid-chest for maximum safety.
Ages 9 to 12 are required by law to ride in the backseat and use the seatbelt.
Make sure that you’ve selected the proper safety restraint for your child’s age, weight and height. Installation directions are included in the accompanying manuals. A properly installed car seat should not move more than one inch in any direction. If you are having trouble installing your child’s car seat, seek the help of a professional at any of the area’s car seat inspection sites. For a complete list of sites or to find a site near you, visit nhtsa.dot.gov.