A bill recently signed into law by SC Governor McMaster changes the child car passenger safety rules for our state.
SC House bill H.3864 amends SC Code of Law sections 56-5-6410 and 56-5-6420, which set guidelines for proper use of safety restraints in motor vehicles. Among the changes to the SC car seat law:
- An infant or child under two years of age must be properly secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system in a rear passenger seat of the vehicle until the child exceeds the height or weight limit allowed by the manufacturer of the child passenger restraint system being used.
- A child at least two years of age or a child under two years of age who has outgrown his rear-facing child passenger restraint system must be secured in a forward-facing child passenger restraint system with a harness in a rear passenger seat of the vehicle until the child exceeds the highest height or weight requirements of the forward-facing child passenger restraint system.
- A child at least four years of age who has outgrown his forward-facing child passenger restraint system must be secured by a belt-positioning booster seat in a rear seat of the vehicle until he can meet the height and fit requirements for an adult safety seat belt as described in item (4). The belt-positioning booster seat must be used with both lap and shoulder belts. A booster seat must not be used with a lap belt alone.
- A child at least eight years of age or at least fifty-seven inches tall may be restrained by an adult safety seat belt if the child can be secured properly by an adult safety seat belt. A child is properly secured by an adult safety seat belt if:
- (a) the lap belt fits across the child’s thighs and hips and not across the abdomen;
- (b) the shoulder belt crosses the center of the child’s chest and not the neck; and
- (c) the child is able to sit with his back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion with his knees bent over the vehicle’s seat edge without slouching.
- If a motor vehicle lacks a rear passenger seat or if all of its rear seating positions are occupied by children under eight years of age, a child under eight years of age may be transported in the front seat of the motor vehicle if the child is secured properly in an appropriate child passenger safety restraint system or belt-positioning booster seat as described in Section 56-5-6410(1), (2), or (3).”