According to the Kentucky State Law, children under 8 years old and less than 57 inches in height must be secured in a child restraint system or a booster in accordance with the federal motor vehicle safety standards.
The new Kentucky laws are effective on July 15, 2016.
What is the car seat law in Kentucky?
Kentucky Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws
The section of KRS 189.125 3(a) of Kentucky law states the regulations that children less than 40 inches in height shall travel in a proper child restraint system.
The law does not mention any age, weight, or height requirements on rear-facing car seats.
However, according to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, you should keep your children in a rear-facing infant seat until they are 20 pounds and 12 months.
It’s best to keep a child in rear-facing as long as possible until they exceed the safety limit of the rear-facing car seats.
Kentucky Forward Facing Car Seat Laws
When can a baby face forward in a car seat in KY?
The Kentucky law does not indicate any age or size requirements on a forward-facing car. The common rule is to use a forward-facing seat once the child outgrows the rear-facing highest weight or height recommended by the car seat manufacturer.
The Kentucky Transportation department answers the question of when can a child go forward-facing and states that one child should be at least one year of age and 20 pounds to ride in a forward-facing car seat.
But it’s best to wait on your child’s second birthday and until they are 30 pounds or more to turn them from rear-facing to front-facing.
What is the Kentucky Law for booster seats?
What is the height and weight of a booster seat in KY?
By law, in Kentucky legislature Regulations Section 189.125 (3) (b), a child shall ride in a booster seat if:
- The child has outgrown the rear-facing/forward-facing seat
- They are less than 8 years old
- They are between 40” to 57” tall
If a child is over 57 inches tall, they are not required by law to ride in a booster seat. The booster should be installed with a lap-shoulder belt.
The height is the deciding factor in the KY booster seat law, it’s best to keep your child in a booster seat until they reach 57 inches, regardless of age, or weight.
Seat Belt Laws for Child in Kentucky
The KY law is not clear on the age, weight, or height requirement for a child to use the vehicle seat belt.
It just says that children are not required to use a booster seat when they are more than 57 inches tall.
That means, children who meet this height requirement are ready to use a seat belt like an adult.
You can also check if the seat belt fits your child properly or not by asking yourself several questions. When your child is sitting all the way back:
- Does his or her knees bend comfortably over the edge of the seat?
- Does the lap belt stay low across the hips?
- Does the shoulder belt across the chest and stay between the neck and shoulder?
- Can your child sit like this for the whole trip without slouching?
If the answers to these questions are “Yes”, then your child can get out of the boosters and use a seat belt.
Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Kentucky
Failure to comply with this law will result in a fine of $50 for not using a child restraint system.
Violating the booster seat law in KY will be fined $30.
The penalty and fine is not the most important thing. It’s a good habit to use an appropriate child restraint system for a child to make sure their safety in a motor vehicle, for EVERY trip. That’s the most important job to be a reliable parent.
Kentucky Car Seat Laws Apply for
The drivers are responsible for securing a child in a proper child safety seat.
The KY law rules do not apply for the below cases, according to Section 189.125 (1):
(b) Motor-driven cycles; or
(c) Farm trucks registered for agricultural use only and having a gross weight of
one (1) ton or more.
Section 189.125 (6) in the KY law says another two exceptions on wearing a seat belt:
(a) A person for medical or physical reasons, or
(b) Postal service officers in a motor vehicle while engaged in the performance of their duties.
When can a child sit in the front seat in Kentucky?
There is no age mentioned when a child can sit in the front seat in the Kentucky law. However, the Kentucky Department of Transportation says that you should follow the best practice of keeping your child in the back seat until the age of 12.
That’s also a common rule suggested by child safety experts and NHTSA guidelines.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Kentucky
The Kentucky car seat laws are vague on requirements for taxis. The law does not mention taxis are exempt.
So it’s better for the drivers to follow the rules to secure a child in an appropriate child restraint system.
Age, Weight, Height Requirements in Kentucky Law
The Kentucky laws give several hard numbers on age, weight, and height requirements. They are listed as below:
Less than 40 inches in height
Use a child restraint system
Under 8 years of age, between 40-57″
Use a child booster seat
More than 57 inches
Secure with a seat belt
Best Car Seats to Work with Kentucky Laws
Rear-Facing Car Seat for Infants and Small Toddlers
More than this Doona car seat and stroller combo, there are a few excellent options available for riding infants in rear-facing. But not all will perform as well as it to allow 1-year-old infants to face the back for this long time, Chicco KeyFit 30 for example, features a low 30-lb weight limit that might not go through the first year.
Forward-Facing for Big Toddlers and Preschoolers
This convertible car seat is great enough to meet the parent’s need to ride their kids in the rear- and front-facing for a longer time. It features 50-lb rear-facing weight limit to be one of the best rear-facing car seats for 2 years old.
When using it facing front, the 65-lb weight limit makes it go through the preschool ages – 3 years old, 4 years old, and 5 years old.
Booster Seats for Big Kids
Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster
The Graco TurboBooster is the most popular and best budget car seat to meet the State Law to ride older children, six or seven years old, or even bigger. While six years of age is relatively younger than other states’ eight years of age requirement, it’s sooner for Alabama children to get rid of a car seat.
But for parents in Alabama, you may keep your kid in a car seat as long as possible for safety’s sake.
- Kentucky Legislature on Child Restraint System and booster seats.
- Kentucky Transportation Highway Safety on Child Passenger Safety Information.