What are the laws regarding child passenger safety in Texas?

As a parent, you want to keep your children as safe as possible, and that includes in the car as you drive them from place to place. It is important to be familiar with the Texas laws that concern passenger safety for children, not only to keep your child safe, but also to avoid receiving a ticket or other consequence for non-compliance.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a safety belt must be used by all passengers, including the driver, for their safety in case of a traffic accident. It is important to use the right tools to keep your children protected, since the seat belt dimensions cater to adults rather than children. Children between the ages of eight and 13 should use the safety belts provided in the vehicles, but you should keep them in the back seat.

For smaller children aged four to eight years old, a booster seat is typically required to assist in the seat belt hitting your child in the right location. This should be similar to how the seat belt fits when you wear it. For example, the shoulder part of the seatbelt ought to hit your child on the chest rather than the neck. The lap belt needs to hit the hips rather than the stomach.

If your children are under the age of four, then they require the use of a car seat. Whether to use a rear- or front-facing seat depends on your child's height and weight, as well as the manufacturer's recommendations. Very young children who have not yet turned two should be in a rear-facing car seat. Children between two and four will typically use a forward-facing seat, unless their height and weight do not match the manufacturer's specifications. When using a car seat, ensure the harness fits snugly and is placed in the right position, which is usually at the shoulder. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

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