Keep kids under 13 in the back seat

The in basket: Georgann Thomas writes to say, “My grand-daughter will be visiting this summer. Can you please tell me what the law says about kids riding in the front seat? From what I can remember, it had something do about age and weight. My grand-daughter is 9 years old. There is a stiff fine, isn’t there?”
The out basket: Yes, and the information is available on the State Patrol Web site,, under the FAQs heading.
Lt. Ken Noland of the Bremerton detachment sent along an excerpt, reading:
“Are children under the age of 13 required to ride in the back seat? 
Yes, the driver of a vehicle transporting a child who is under 13 years old shall transport the child in the back seat positions in the vehicle where it is practical to do so. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under 12 are safer in the back seat regardless of the presence of a passenger side air bag.
When should I use a booster seat? 
Washington law requires a child who is less than 8 years of age or 4’9″ tall (which ever comes first) be properly restrained in a child booster seat when both lap and shoulder belts are available. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that booster seats, used in conjunction with lap/shoulder belts, be used until the child is 8 years old unless the child is 4’9”.
If you answer “NO” to any of the following questions, your child is safer in a booster seat:
1.  Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat? 
2. Does the child sit with hips all the way back against the auto seat? 
3. Is the lap belt on the top part of the thighs? 
4. Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest? 
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?”
The fine for violating the child restraint law is $124, and the patrol pays a lot of attention to enforcing it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Enter the word yellow here: