The Child Safety Seat Program is an innovative program developed by the Virginia Department of Health, designed to promote a positive,active relationship with the community while decreasing the incidence of death and injury to small children.
VIRGINIA'S CHILD RESTRAINT DEVICE LAW
(Code of Virginia Article 13 - Section 46.2)
The major requirements of Virginia's Child Safety Seat Law:
- Effective July 1, 2007: Child restraint devices are required for children through the age of seven (until 8th birthday). Safety seats must be properly used and approved by Department of Transportation standards.
- Effective July 1, 2007: Rear-facing child restraint devices must be placed in the back seat of a vehicle. In the event the vehicle does not have a back seat, the child restraint device may be placed in the front passenger seat only if the vehicle is either not equipped with a passenger side airbag or the passenger side airbag has been deactivated.
- Effective July 1, 2007: Children can no longer ride unrestrained in the rear cargo area of vehicles.
- The law applies to anyone (i.e. parents, grandparents, babysitters, friends) who provides transportation for a child in any vehicle manufactured after January 1, 1968. Public transportation (taxis, buses), regulation school buses, and farm vehicles are exempted.
- The child restraint law is primary enforcement -- no other violation need be committed prior to ticketing for failure to have a child in an approved seat.
- A $50 civil penalty fine is imposed for failure to have a child in a child restraint device. A $20 civil penalty fine is assessed when persons transporting a child exempted from this law due to medical reasons do not carry a written statement of the exemption. All fines collected go into a special fund to purchase safety seats for low-income families.
- There are assistance programs for low-income residents who cannot afford a safety seat. Contact Virginia Department of Health, Division of Injury and Violence Prevention at 1-800-732-8333 for more information.
VIRGINIA'S PASSENGER SAFETY BELT LAW
(Code of Virginia Article 12 - Section 46-2)
The major requirements of Virginia's Child Safety Belt Law:
- Effective July 1, 2007: Children age 8 through age 15 (until age 16) must be belted correctly in vehicle safety belts, in vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1968. Exemptions are taxicabs, school buses, executive sedans and limousines.
- This safety belt law is primary enforcement -- no other violation need be committed prior to ticketing for failure to have a child correctly buckled up.
- A $50 civil penalty fine will be imposed. All fines collected go into a special fund to purchase safety seats for low-income families.
VIRGINIA'S PICKUP TRUCK LAW
(Code of Virginia Section 46.2 - 1094)
- No person under age 16 shall be transported in the rear cargo area of a pickup truck.
- There are exemptions for certain parades and farming operations. http://www.vahealth.org/civp/safetyseat/laws.asp
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children, and each year many of these deaths occur needlessly because a child was not properly restrained within a motor vehicle. In Virginia, from 1983 to 1993, 118 children were killed as a result of these accidents; 90 were unrestrained, 10 were improperly restrained, and only 18 were properly restrained.
The participation of the Williamsburg Fire Department in the Child Safety Seat Program will play an important role in this life-saving effort by educating parents and caregivers on how to properly use child safety seats.
Emergency services personnel have daily contact with the results of careless actions. The Child Safety Seat Program gives us an opportunity to reduce these accidents and protect Virginia's most precious resource...our children.