In Rhode Island, and in fact nationwide, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death and injury to children. It is simple common sense to use a child safety seat, and furthermore, it is required by law.
Summary of Rhode Island’s child seat safety laws
The child seat safety laws in Rhode Island can be summarized as follows:
Anyone who is transporting a child younger than 8, under 57 inches tall, and weighing under 80 pounds must secure the child in the back seat of the motor vehicle, using an approved child restraint system.
If the child is under age 8, but 57 inches or taller and 80 or more pounds, then the child can be restrained using the vehicle’s safety belt system, in the back seat.
Children between ages 8 and 17 can be transported in either the front or the back seat, restrained using the vehicle’s safety belt system.
If a child is under the age of eight, but there is no back seat in the vehicle, or the back seat is already being used by other children and there is no room, then the child closest to the age of eight can ride in the front seat.
Infants from birth to 1 year and 20 pounds or over must ride in a rear-facing car seat, or a convertible seat in the rear-facing position, in the back seat only.
Toddlers at least a year old and 20 pounds can use a forward-facing car seat, in the back seat only.
If you are in violation of Rhode Island’s child seat safety laws, you can be fined $85 for children up to age 8, and $40 for children between the ages of 8 and 17. Rhode Island’s child seat safety laws are in place for your child’s protection, so observe them.