When Are You in Violation of Maryland’s Booster Seat Laws?

Maryland’s booster seat laws are designed to keep children safe while riding in a vehicle. These laws require children to use booster seats until they meet certain age, height, and weight requirements. Complying with these laws can reduce the risk of serious injuries by 45% for children ages four to eight when compared with seat belt use alone. However, if you fail to abide by booster seat regulations, you may be subject to paying fines and other penalties.

Booster seats are one of the best ways to keep children safe while traveling. At The Law Office of Hillel Traub, we are here to help you understand Maryland seatbelt laws to protect your family and avoid fines.

3 Scenarios When You Are in Violation of Maryland’s Booster Seat Laws

Unfortunately, many children stop using a booster seat before it’s safe to do so, with over 25% of children within the age range not utilizing a proper child restraint. If their bodies cannot sit on a seat with a properly secured seatbelt, they are at greater risk of injury during a collision.

You may be in violation of Maryland’s booster seat laws if you fail to comply with the following:

  1. Age requirements: Maryland law requires that all children under the age of eight years old use a booster seat unless they are 4’9” tall. If a child is not using a booster seat as required, the driver can be fined $50 for the first offense.
  2. Height requirements: Even if a child is older than eight, they may still be required to be secured a booster seat if they are not yet 4’9” tall. The booster seat helps ensure the vehicle’s seat belt fits securely across the child’s lap and shoulder, reducing the risk of serious injury in the event of an accident.
  3. Weight requirements: Maryland law also requires that children use a booster seat until they outgrow the manufacturer’s recommended weight requirement or are over 65 pounds or more.

Even though Maryland does not have a set age limit for sitting in the front seat of a vehicle, it is important to note that the back seat is the safest area for all children. Airbags may deploy at over 200 mph and cause serious injuries or death to children.

When Can Your Child Ride Safely Without a Booster Seat?

When determining whether a child is ready to ride lawfully in a vehicle without a booster seat, you must take the 5-step test. Have your child sit in the vehicle without a seatbelt and observe the following:

  • Does the belt cross between the neck and shoulder?
  • Is their back against the seat?
  • Is the lap belt sitting across their upper legs and across the hips?
  • Are their knees bent at the edge of the seat?
  • Can they sit comfortably and correctly in this position for the entire ride?

If the answer is no to these questions, they should continue to ride in a booster seat. The answers to these questions are not universal to all vehicles and must be assessed before riding without a booster seat in a different vehicle.

Contact the Traffic Violations Lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub

Sadly, many children are injured or suffer accident fatalities in Maryland every year. In some cases, parents may have failed to comply with booster seat requirements and were in violation of Maryland booster seat laws.

Consult with an experienced Maryland traffic violations lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub if you have questions about booster seat laws to protect your children on the road. Attorney Hillel Traub is a former lawyer for the MVA with over 30 years of experience and is an invaluable asset in helping parents understand Maryland seatbelt laws to avoid fines and other penalties. Schedule a free consultation by calling (410) 580-1100 or filling out our contact form.