Car seat laws vary from state to state. As research continues, laws have consistently become more stringent in order to offer the best protection for our children. If you are a parent in Colorado, it is imperative you are aware of current laws regarding car seats to protect your child and avoid a run in with the law.
Car seat laws are different for each age and weight group of children.
Infants up to One Year
Colorado law dictates that infants up to one year or under 20 lbs. be seated in a rear facing car seat that is secured in the backseat of the vehicle. Research shows that safety is increased by keeping the child rear facing for as long as possible. It is advisable to consult the manufacturer’s instructions regarding appropriate height and weight limits for the car seat.
Children and Toddlers Age One to Three Years
Between the ages of one and three, children may transition from rear facing to forward facing car seats once they have obtained a weight of 20-40 lbs. It is recommended that children remain in a 5-Point harness until they have reached a weight of 40 lbs.
Children Ages Four to Seven
Once a child has reached 20-40 lbs., they may sit forward facing in either a forward-facing car seat or booster seat. Providing they do not exceed the maximum weight listed for the car seat or booster seat they may continue using these devices after reaching more than 40 lbs. It is recommended that children remain in a booster seat or car seat until they have an obtained a height or 57 inches tall equalling 4’9”.
Children Eight Years Up to Age Fifteen
After children have reached their eighth birthday, they may continue to sit in a booster seat if necessary or simply use the vehicle’s seat belt if it fits correctly. It is highly recommended that teens under age thirteen should remain seated in the back seat of the car. Consult the weight limits as set by the manufacturer of the booster seat when determining when your child should transition to a regular seat belt.
Penalties for Violations
Violations for children who are not in a car seat or children that exceed the maximum age and weight requirements include a fine that will be a minimum of $65. Multiple offenses warrant higher fines and other penalties that are determined on a case by case basis.