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Legal Blog

Texas Booster Seat Laws

Texas law requires that everyone within a vehicle wear the proper restraints. For older children, teenagers, and adults, this means the seatbelt provided within the vehicle. Adults will be ticketed for their own violations of this law. For younger children, seatbelts are inappropriate. Instead, children under the age of 8, except those who are taller than 4 feet 9 inches, must be secured within the proper child car seat or booster seat while the car is moving.

Texas booster seat laws, including §545.412, state drivers will be ticketed for any children younger than 8 years old who are not properly secured in a child safety seat within the vehicle. They will be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine from $25 to $250 plus the court costs. The purpose of this law is to ensure everyone’s safety in case of an accident.

If you and your kids were hurt in a car crash, call us at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500 to schedule a consultation.

Using the Proper Child Safety Seat

The Texas Department of Transportation outlines the guidelines for using the proper child safety seats.

From 0 to 2 years or up to 35 pounds:

  • Use a rear-facing car seat
  • Follow all of the manufacturer’s installation, use, and care instructions
  • Chest clip must be secured even with the child’s armpits
  • Harness straps must fit snugly to the child’s body without any slack at the shoulders
  • Use the harness slot on the safety seat at or below the child’s shoulders

From 2 to 4 years or up to 80 pounds:

  • Use a forward-facing safety seat
  • Follow all of the manufacturer’s installation, use, and care instructions
  • Chest clip must be secured even with the child’s armpits
  • Harness should fit snugly to the child’s body without any slack at the shoulders
  • Use the seat belt or lower anchors to secure the child safety seat, but do not use both

From 4 to 8 years or a minimum of 40 pounds:

  • Use a booster seat based on the child’s height and weight
  • Install properly with use of both lap and shoulder belts
  • Lap belt should be fastened across the child’s thighs, not stomach
  • Shoulder belt should rest across the child’s chest, not neck

When Is It Time to Move to a New Seat?

Most parents question when it is time to move their child from one seat to the next. Most recommendations state children should stay in each seat as long as possible. For instance, children should remain in a rear-facing seat until they are too tall or heavy for it. This could be after the age of 2. The same goes for the transition between a forward-facing seat and a booster seat. Children should stay in a forward-facing safety seat until they are too large for it based on the manufacturer’s height and weight restrictions, which may be after a child turns 4 years old. A booster seat should not be used until children are not only large enough, but also mature enough to remain in the seat without unbuckling or unclipping it themselves.

The Importance of Child Safety Seats

Your children should be in a child safety seat not only because it is the law, but because it is the best way to prevent your children from being injured or killed in a car accident. Safety seats are meant to shield your children from injury and reduce the force exerted on them during a collision. However, your kids can be hurt in an accident even if they are in the best safety seat for them.

Call a Houston personal injury attorney at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500 as soon as possible if your children have been hurt in an accident.