Monday, March 18, 2019
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What are the Kansas child passenger safety requirements?

Kansas law requires children under 18 years of age be properly restrained no matter where they are seated in the vehicle.  Children through age 3 must be secured in a separate carrier (child safety seat) or in a vehicle manufacturer's integrated child safety seat.  For children ages 4-5, a separate carrier, an integrated child safety seat, or a safety belt may be used.  If a safety belt does not fit the child correctly, a booster seat should be used to correctly position the lap and shoulder belts once they outgrow the forward-facing child safety seats (generally at about 40 pounds and 4 years old).  Children from approximately 40-80 pounds and under 4'9" in height should ride in a booster seat.

Infants must ride rear-facing until they are at least one (1) year old and weigh 20 pounds or more.  The coalition recommends that children stay rear-facing until they reach the weight limit of the car seat or 35 pounds as the child is safer.  Rear-facing, the infant, should be semi-upright at an angle of no more than 45 degrees.  A forward-facing older child should ride sitting upright.  We recommend that all children age 13 years of age and younger ride in the rear seat.  Never place a child in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with a passenger air bag.

The Kansas Department of Transportation provides the following Child Passenger Safety Act (KSA 8-1344) information:

Primary law (enacted 1981; undated 2006):
1.  Requires all children under the age of four (4) to be buckled into an approved child safety seat.
2.  Children, ages 4 through 7 must be buckled into an approved booster seat unless the child weighs more than 80 pounds or is taller than 4'9" in height, at which point the child is buckled in as an adult would be.
3.  Children ages 8 through 13 must be buckled in.
4.  This law applies to all vehicles designed for carrying 10 passengers or less.  (Conviction carries a $60 fine plus court costs.)

(Not part of KSA 8-1344)  Persons under the age of 14 are prohibited from riding in any portion of the vehicle not intended for passengers; this includes riding in the back of pickup trucks.  (Fine is $20 plus court costs and is a traffic infraction.)

Amended Kansas Safety Belt Use Act - KSA 8-2503, Subsection (b)

Primary law (enacted 2007):
1.  Requires that each occupant who is at least 14-17 years of age must be buckled in.
2.  This is a primary violation.  Each occupant in violation is to be individually cited and fined.
3.  The fine for each violation is $60 (with no court costs).

Sheriff Ken McGovern