Securing your child in a car seat may spell the difference between life and death.
Do you believe this?
The State of Indiana certainly does as it implements strict car seat laws. And you should, too.
Even if you don’t, you still need to use car seats because, as we said, it’s required by law.
But what exactly are the Indiana car seat laws?
What about seatbelt laws for adults?
In this article, we’re going to go over all these laws, as well as the penalties and exemptions.
This will be your complete guide to the Indiana car seat and seatbelt laws.
So buckle up and let’s go!
Car Seat Laws in Indiana
In Indiana, all children under 8 years old are required to be in a car seat or booster seat. Now, the type of seat will depend on the child’s age and weight.
Here is a table of the specific requirements:
|Age:||Weight:||Type of Car Seat:|
|Below 1 year old||Below 20 pounds||Rear-facing car seat|
|1 year old and above||20-30 pounds||Front-facing car seat|
|Below 8 years old||30-40 pounds||Booster seat|
Take note that the law states the minimum weight requirement for the car seat. So for example, if your child is 30 pounds, you can still place them in a rear-facing car seat as long as the manufacturer allows it.
NOTE: the Indiana State Police recommends keeping your children in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible since this is the safest car restraint system for children.
As for children above 8 years old, they are no longer required to be on booster seats. However, they are now required to wear seatbelts at all times.
You can also opt to put your child (who is above 8 years old) on a booster seat as long as their weight is within the limits of the booster seat.
Car Seat Exemptions in Indiana
There are cases when your child doesn’t need to be in a car seat. Here are those exemptions:
- When the child is riding on a school bus, taxi, or medical vehicle
- When the child has a physical or medical condition that prevents them from being in a car seat or booster seat
If your child has a condition that makes it difficult for them to be in a car seat, you need to provide a licensed doctor’s medical certificate that explains why they shouldn’t be in a car seat. Keep this certificate in the car if you don’t want to get ticketed.
Car Seat Penalties in Indiana
Violating the car seat laws in Indiana results in an infraction that will require you to pay court fees and a fine. The court fee will depend, but the fine is a maximum of $25.
That said, you can avoid paying the fine if you install a car seat within 30 days of being convicted. Plus, the car seat should be in accordance with Indiana laws.
Seatbelt Laws in Indiana
Of course, it’s not just about your children’s safety.
It’s about YOUR safety, too.
Indiana’s seatbelt law is a primary enforcement, which means that you can be stopped by a police officer to check if you are complying with this law.
So what is the seatbelt law in Indiana?
The seatbelt law states that…
“Everyone inside a motor vehicle is required to wear a seat belt PROPERLY if the vehicle is moving forward. Even bus operators are required to wear a seatbelt.”
Notice the word PROPERLY.
Yes, you can get caught and ticketed for wearing one improperly.
To help you, here is how to wear a seatbelt properly:
- The shoulder strap should be in front of your shoulders.
- The hip strap should rest just below your belly.
- The clasp should be secured.
- The seatbelt should have a snug fit when it’s clasped.
Remember, properly wearing a seatbelt will increase your protection. This is why you’re not allowed to put the shoulder strap behind your shoulders.
So to avoid penalties and injuries during a collision, wear your seatbelt properly and at all times.
Seatbelt Exemptions in Indiana
There are several exemptions to wearing a seatbelt. Here are some instances when you are not legally required to wear one:
- When you have a medical or physical condition that prevents you from wearing a seatbelt. This should be accompanied by a letter from a licensed physician.
- Children who are already in a car seat.
- If you are driving or riding a US postal service vehicle that requires stopping frequently to deliver mail and packages.
- If you are delivering newspapers and need to frequently stop to deliver these items.
- If you are an instructor tasked to test the driving skills of a BMV driver’s license applicant.
- If you are an occupant of a medical service vehicle stationed at the back of the vehicle.
- If you are an occupant of a farm vehicle that is being used for agricultural and farming operations.
- If you are an occupant of a construction vehicle or a solid waste vehicle.
For these exemptions (except the first one), you are not required to have any certificate or letter showing that you don’t need to wear a seatbelt.
Seatbelt Penalties in Indiana
Like the car seat penalty, you will be asked to pay a fine of $25, plus court fees, if you are found to not wear a seatbelt (or wearing it improperly) when the vehicle you’re in is in motion.
And, since the seatbelt law in Indiana is primary, always be prepared to be stopped by a police officer checking to see if you’re wearing your seatbelt properly.
That was everything you needed to know about the Indiana car seat laws, as well as the seatbelt laws.
Wearing a seatbelt and having the right car seat are two simple ways to prevent severe injuries to you and your loved ones.
However, these restraining systems are useless if they are not worn properly. So to be sure that you maximize the protection of these systems, always wear them the way the manufacturer instructs you to.
Be a responsible driver!