Car seat law changes focus on children's safety
September 26, 2019
Changes to Washington’s child passenger restraint law (RCW 46.61.687) take effect January 1, 2020. Car crashes are a leading killer of children ages 1-13. Using the right seat can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent.
To help reduce fatalities, state traffic safety officials are using Child Passenger Safety Week to educate parents and caregivers about changes in the law and the correct installation and use of car seats, booster seats and seat belts. The week runs from September 15-21, and officials are promoting safety messages through social media and free car seat inspection stations across the state.
The revised car seat law will require the following:
--Children up to age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.
--Children ages 2-4 must be properly secured in a car seat with a harness (rear or forward facing).
--Children 4 and older and less than four feet nine inches tall must be secured in a booster seat with seat belt (or continue in harness seat).
--Children over height four feet nine inches must be secured by a properly fitted seat belt (typically starting at 8-12 years old).
--Children up to age 13 must ride in the back seat when practical to do so.
Car seats can be very confusing, resulting in significant misuse. There are car seat inspection services throughout Washington. To find the nearest location, visit http://www.safercar.gov/parents. Parents can also find additional information at wacarseats.com.