In West Virginia, children in motor vehicles have to be secured using an approved restraint system. This is common sense, and it is the law as well. Given that the main cause of death in children under 12 is motor vehicle accidents, it is important that anyone who transports children in a passenger vehicle understands and obeys the West Virginia child seat safety laws.

Summary of West Virginia’s child seat safety laws

The child seat safety laws in West Virginia can be summarized as follows:

  • Children 8 years and older and at least 57 inches tall may use the vehicle’s safety belt system.

  • Children under one year old must occupy rear-facing car safety seats.

  • Children from one to three years must occupy a rear-facing or convertible seat in rear-facing mode until they are too tall or too heavy for the seat, at which point they can transition to a forward-facing seat (usually around the age of four).

  • Children between the ages of four and seven may ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. The child safety seat should be placed in the vehicle’s back seat. This seat should be used until the child is too tall or too heavy for the seat.

  • Children ages 8 to 12 should ride in a booster seat in the vehicle’s back seat until they have grown to the point where they are able to use the vehicle’s safety belt system. The lap belt should be snug across the thighs, and the shoulder belt fitted across the chest and shoulder.

Penalties

Anyone violating the West Virginia child safety seat laws can be fined $20.

The penalty for violating the law may be set low, but the consequences if you fail to restrain your child properly can be incredibly high. Make sure to always use your child safety seat or other approved restraint system.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Child Seat Safety Laws in West Virginia and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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