Indiana has laws that mandate the protection of children when they are travelling in motor vehicles. These laws are founded in common sense – children of certain ages are not safe when just using adult safety belts that are not designed to suit their proportions, so it is necessary to use a car seat.
Summary of Indiana car seat laws
Indiana’s child seat safety laws can be summarized as follows.
Children up to age one
- Children from birth and up to age 1 or 20 pounds must be transported in a rear-facing infant seat, or a convertible seat in the rear-facing position. This supports the child’s back, head, and neck in the event of a collision.
Children ages one to eight
- Children who are between the ages of one to eight must travel in a booster seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a convertible seat that is facing forward.
Children ages 8-16
- A child between the ages of 8 and 16 must ride in a booster seat if they are under 40 pounds, but may ride using a seat belt if they are over 40 pounds. A booster seat is most appropriate for children that are four feet, nine inches or under.
Children over four feet, nine inches
- A child over four feet, nine inches may ride in the back seat using only a lap belt. Children over four feet, nine inches must use adult safety belts.
If you fail to observe the child seat safety laws in Indiana, you can be handed a fine of $25, and also have demerit points assigned to your driver’s license.
The laws are in place to ensure that your child travels safely, so it makes sense to obey them and also to avoid being fined for violations.