Idaho Car Seat Laws

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All states have car seat laws, and Idaho is no exception.

Whether you are a resident or a visitor, you must comply with Idaho’s car seat laws.

Idaho Car Seat Laws – at a Glance

  • Are child restraints required?: Yes
  • To what age?: Until the child is seven years old
  • What is required?: An appropriate seat for the child’s size

When are car seats required in Idaho?

Car seats are required in Idaho for children up to the age of seven. When a child turns seven, they are no longer legally required to be in a car seat.

What is the Idaho car seat law?

The Idaho car seat law is Idaho Statutes § 49-672, Passenger Safety for Children.

The law says that no noncommercial motor vehicle operator may transport a child six years of age or younger unless the child is in a car seat.

What car seat is required for a child in Idaho?

A child under the age of seven must be in the car seat that is appropriate for the child’s weight and size. It must be federally approved and compliant with 49 C.F.R. § 571.213 – Standard No. 213; child restraint systems.

Idaho’s car seat law does not say exactly what car seat should be used for each age and size. It should be what’s appropriate for the child’s height and weight. The Idaho Transportation Department recommends:

  • Birth to 2 years – a rear-facing car seat in the back seat
  • 2-4 years and 40-65 pounds – a forward facing car seat in the back seat; a top tether should be used if the child is under 40 pounds
  • 4-8 years and 4’9” – a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt

Note: State law requires use of an appropriate car seat until the child is seven years old. The Idaho Transportation Department recommends continued use of a booster seat until the child is at least eight years old and large enough to fit correctly into an adult seat belt. (Idaho Transportation Department, Child Restraint RECOMMENDATIONS by Age and Size).

Idaho Car Seat Compliance and Tickets

Who is responsible for car seat compliance in Idaho?

It is the operator of the vehicle who is responsible for car seat compliance in Idaho. The vehicle driver must make sure that a child is in the appropriate car seat.

Who gets the car seat ticket in Idaho?

The vehicle driver gets the car seat ticket in Idaho.

What is the penalty for not having a child in a car seat in Idaho?

Failing to have a child in a car seat in Idaho is a civil infraction punishable by an $84.00 fine. (Infraction Penalty Schedule).

Exceptions to Idaho Car Seat Laws

Are there any exceptions to Idaho car seat laws?

Idaho car seat laws do not apply when:

  • The vehicle is a commercial vehicle
  • All the seat belts are in use and the child is in the back seat
  • While a child is nursing
  • To tend to the child’s immediate physiological needs

Do you have to use a car seat in an Uber or Lyft in Idaho?

Car seats are probably required in an Uber or Lyft in Idaho, but the law is not completely clear.

It is not clear whether a rideshare vehicle – like an Uber or Lyft – is a commercial vehicle. Rideshare vehicles do not meet the definition of commercial motor vehicle given in Idaho Statutes § 49-123. The Transportation Network Company Services Act specifies that rideshare drivers are not required to register as commercial drivers or get commercial driver’s licenses. (Idaho Statutes § 49-3704). With no explicit guidance exempting Uber and Lyft drivers from car seat laws, it is likely that car seats are required when using rideshare services.

Idaho Car Seat Laws and Accidents

Is a child not being in a car seat considered contributory negligence in the event of an accident in Idaho?

No.  Failing to use a car seat is not contributory negligence. It is not admissible in a civil action to prove negligence.

If a child who is not restrained in a car seat is in an accident, the fact that they were not in a car seat cannot be introduced as evidence to prove negligence. Whether or not the child was in a car seat is not a factor in how or why the crash occurred. In addition, it is almost certainly not the fault of a young child that they were not properly restrained in a car seat, so it is not considered contributory negligence in the eyes of the law.

A child who is the victim of an accident may receive the appropriate compensation per Idaho law.

It is the jury’s job to determine whose negligence caused the accident. Allowing the evidence would paint the driver in a bad light and could unfairly prejudice the jury. Therefore, the Idaho car seat law prohibits evidence of failure to use a child safety restraint as evidence regarding negligence in any civil action. (Idaho Statutes § 49-672).

Child Safety and Vehicles – Other Miscellaneous Questions

What are the booster seat requirements in Idaho?

A child must be in an appropriate car seat until they are at least seven years old in Idaho. For children ages 4-6, this often means being in a booster seat. While recommended to age eight, booster seats are required until the child is seven years of age.

How old does a child have to be to sit in the front seat in Idaho?

Idaho does not have a law for how old a child must be to sit in the front seat. However, advocacy group Safe Ride 4 Kids recommends that children sit in the back until they are 13 years old.

Lawyers for Car Accidents Involving Children and Car Seats

Has your child been in a car accident? Our lawyers want to protect you and your child’s rights and fight for their interests.

At Sargent Law Firm Injury Lawyers, we offer free consultations about car accident claims in Idaho. Whatever the circumstances, we can evaluate your case and pursue the compensation that your child deserves. Contact us today to talk about your situation.

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