City of Upper Arlington, Ohio

Car Seat Requirements


Changes to the Ohio Revised Code relative to safety belt and child restraint took effect Wednesday, October 7, 2009.  For the first six months, any violators will be issued a warning, however beginning April 7, 2010 the new laws go into full effect.  Read on for a summary of the new requirements.

  • Every child* under eight-years-of-age and less than 4'9" in height must ride in a booster seat or other appropriate child safety seat.**
  • Every child* aged eight-to-15 years who is not secured by a child safety seat must be secured by the vehicle's safety belt.

These new requirements are secondary offenses and police are not permitted to stop a vehicle for the sole purpose of issuing a ticket for a violation of these offenses.  If the operator of a vehicle is cited for failing to properly secure more than one child, he/she will be charged with one violation.  The associated fines will range from $25 to $75 per violation under state law.  The fines may be higher under a city code.  A repeat violation is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree punishable by a fine up to $250 and up to 30 days incarceration. 

Car safety belts are not designed for children.  Typically, at around age four, children are too large for toddler seats but too small for adult safety belts.  A booster seat raises children up so that the seat belt can fit correctly - with the shoulder belt crossing the chest and resting snugly on the shoulder, and the lap belt resting low across the pelvis or hip area and not the stomach area.

For additional details of the new laws and guidelines for securing your children safely:


* - Exceptions include a life threatening situation, a physician-signed affidavit exempting the child from the law due to a physical impairment, or the vehicle is a taxicab, public safety vehicle or was manufactured without seatbelts.
** - Child safety seats include infant seats, convertible seats, forward-facing seats, booster seats or other federally approved safety devices.


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