Interestingly, Virginia has some of the most lenient child safety seat laws in the USA. Although Virginia’s policies may not be strict, local authorities take child safety just as seriously as any other state.
Virginia law requires that all children under the age of eight be placed in a proper safety restraint system for their age. There are multiple different laws and the type of seat used depends on the child’s size and weight and the type of vehicle they are in. These laws are outlined below.
New Virginian parents should definitely take a few moments to read through this brief article. Below, we’ll go over the main features of Old Dominion’s child safety seat policies and share a few helpful resources you can use to keep your children secure.
- Virginia law requires that all children under the age of eight be placed in a proper safety restraint system for their age.
- Any child above the age of eight, regardless of height or weight, can legally wear the car’s safety belt.
- Although Virginia law doesn’t require it, safety officials strongly suggest all infants ride in rear-facing restraints, all toddlers who outgrow rear-facing restraints move on to front-facing restraints, and all children who outgrow front-facing restraints move on to booster seats. (Note: Regardless of the law, here’s why children are drastically safer in rear-facing car seats).
- Parents using a rear-facing safety restraint must place the device in the back seat of their vehicle.
- You can legally place a rear-facing safety restraint in the front passenger seat only if you’ve deactivated the front airbag.
- It is illegal for children to ride unrestrained in the rear cargo of vehicles.
- Any driver who has failed to adequately secure their child can face a $50 fine if caught by the police. Second offenses will result in a $500 fine.
- Drivers can face a penalty if caught with children between eight and 17 not wearing car safety belts.
- Children with medical issues can follow their pediatrician’s car seat recommendations, even if they goes against Virginia law.
- Parents must carry a written statement from their child’s doctor if the child has a medical issue that allows him/her to use a different safety restraint.
- Taxis, buses, and farm vehicles are exempt from all the above laws.
Virginia has many programs in place to help parents keep their children safe on the roads. Low-income residents can apply for a discount on car safety seats by contacting Virginia’s Department of Health, Division of Injury and Violence at the number (800) 732-8333.
There’s also a ton of information on this webpage published on Virginia’s DMV portal. In addition to information on child seat laws, you’ll find a ton of URLs and videos here to help you choose the perfect child safety seat.