FAQ for Oklahoma child restraint law:
What does the Oklahoma child restraint law require?
It is the driver’s responsibility to see that child passengers are properly restrained. Children five (5) years old or younger must be properly restrained in either a child car seat or a booster seat appropriate for their height and weight. Children ages six (6) through twelve (12) must be properly restrained in either a child car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. Properly restrained means that the restraint system is correctly installed and being used in accordance with the seat manufacturer’s instructions. For example, if the seat manufacturer’s instructions state that the car seat should never be placed in front of an active air bag, then installing it in front of an active air bag would not be “properly using”. The law exempts the drivers of emergency vehicles, such as an ambulance, from the law as well as drivers of vehicles which are not required to be equipped with seat belts and vehicles in which all the seat belts are in use by other passengers.
What vehicles are not required to have seat belts?
Passenger cars manufactured prior to 1967 and pickups, vans and SUVs manufactured prior to 1971 were not required to have seat belts. Also, school buses and many commercial transport vehicles which carry more than 10 passengers are not required to have seat belts. As long as the vehicle did not have seat belts as original equipment, then it is exempt from the law.
What are the height and weight requirements by law?
Oklahoma does not have specific height and weight requirements, only the age requirements as listed above. The height and weight limits for a particular seat vary by seat manufacturer, so you should select a seat that will fit your child’s size.
Do children have to sit in the back seat by law?
Not by law, but it is the safest place for them in a vehicle. To read the results of a study by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on the safest seating positions for children riding in motor vehicles, click here.
Are there any special exclusions if my vehicle doesn’t have lap/shoulder belts for use with booster seats?
Oklahoma’s Child Restraint Law allows a child who weighs more than 40 pounds to ride in a rear seating position (any seat behind the drivers seat) while wearing only a lap belt if the vehicle is not equipped with combination lap/shoulder belts in the rear seat(s) or if the lap/shoulder belts are in use by other children who weigh more than 40 pounds. Church vans and Daycare Center vans can present a letter from the parent or guardian stating that the child weighs more than 40 pounds as proof of the child’s weight if so requested by a law enforcement officer.
What is the best seat for me to buy?
The best seat is a seat that fits your child, fits your vehicle and that you will use.
Remember that passenger restraint laws vary from state to state, so when traveling you should inquire if you have a question about another state’s restraint laws
Here is a copy of the law:
B. Children at least six (6) years of age but younger than thirteen (13) years of age shall be protected by use of a child passenger restraint system or a seat belt.
C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
1. The driver of a school bus, taxicab, moped, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle not required to be equipped with safety belts pursuant to state or federal laws;
2. The driver of an ambulance or emergency vehicle;
3. The driver of a vehicle in which all of the seat belts are in use;
4. The transportation of children who for medical reasons are unable to be placed in such devices; or
5. The transportation of a child who weighs more than forty (40) pounds and who is being transported in the back seat of a vehicle while wearing only a lap safety belt when the back seat of the vehicle is not equipped with combination lap and shoulder safety belts, or when the combination lap and shoulder safety belts in the back seat are being used by other children who weigh more than forty (40) pounds. Provided, however, for purposes of this paragraph, back seat shall include all seats located behind the front seat of a vehicle operated by a licensed child care facility or church. Provided further, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a child has met the weight requirements of this paragraph if at the request of any law enforcement officer, the licensed child care facility or church provides the officer with a written statement verified by the parent or legal guardian that the child weighs more than forty (40) pounds.
D. A law enforcement officer is hereby authorized to stop a vehicle if it appears that the driver of the vehicle has violated the provisions of this section and to give an oral warning to said driver. The warning shall advise the driver of the possible danger to children resulting from the failure to install or use a child passenger restraint system or seat belts in the motor vehicle.
Published from: The Oklahoma State Courts Network