Understanding Maryland’s Child Seat Belt Laws

Ensuring the safety of children while traveling in a vehicle is a top priority for parents and caregivers. Likewise, Maryland’s child seat belt laws are in place to help protect children in the event of a car accident. It’s important to understand and comply with these laws to avoid fines and reduce the risk of a fatal injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control, using properly fitting car seats, which are mandated by state law, reduces the risk of death in infants by 71% and toddlers by 54%.

At The Law Office of Hillel Traub, we can help you understand Maryland’s child seat belt laws to protect your family and avoid fines for seat belt violations. We have over 30 years of experience representing Maryland clients and insight into the inner workings of the MVA. For specific questions about child seat belt laws, speak with us during your no-cost consultation.

Child Seat Belt Requirement in Maryland

Maryland law requires that children under eight must be correctly secured in a child safety seat unless the child is over 4’9” or taller. This means that a parent or guardian must use a rear-facing infant seat, forward-facing toddler seat, or booster seat until they reach height, weight, or age requirements.

Additionally, Maryland Transportation Article §22-412.2 states that “a person may not transport a child under the age of 16 years” unless the child is secured in:

  • A child safety seat by safety seat and vehicle manufacturers’ instructions
  • A seat belt

There are no laws regarding age requirements for sitting in the front seat in Maryland. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until a child is at least 13, more than 100 pounds, and taller than 4’9” before they sit in the front seat, as a frontal airbag deploys at over 200 mph and can cause serious injury or death to children.

5 Types of Child Safety Belts

Maryland law specifies that child safety seats must meet federal safety standards. There are several options that parents can use to comply with this law, including the following:

  • Rear-facing infant seats: These are for infants under one year of age and weighing less than 20 pounds.
  • Forward-facing toddler seats: These are for children weighing between 20 and 40 pounds and under the age of four. Children can remain in a forward-facing seat until they reach the top height and weight limit.
  • Booster seats: Booster seats are for children weighing between 40 and 100 pounds and over the age of eight.
  • Backless booster seats: These are for children over 40 pounds and under the age of 12.
  • Seat belts: Seatbelts are required for any vehicle occupant over the age of 16.

Always abide by the manufacturer’s seat instructions, as they can vary on weight and height requirements. If you fail to comply with Maryland child seat belt laws, you may face a $50 fine for a first offense.

Contact an Experienced Maryland Traffic Violations Lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub

As a parent or caregiver, you want to ensure your children are safe at all times. Maryland’s child seat belt laws are designed to help you do just that by requiring drivers to secure children with proper seat and belt regulations. Attorney Hillel Traub at The Law Office of Hillel Traub was a former Attorney General for the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and knows how to help you avoid legal penalties and keep your child safe on the road.

Schedule a no-cost consultation to find out more about Maryland’s child seat belt laws by calling (410) 580-1100 or filling out our contact form.