Tennessee car seat law may be changing soon. Local government passed then recalled a bill in March 2016 to strengthen the law. For now, though, the 2004 law remains in effect. Infants under 1 year of age and under 20 pounds must ride in a rear facing infant seat. Toddlers over 20 pounds but under 4 can ride rear facing or forward facing in a car seat. At age 4, kids can ride in a booster seat until they are 4′-9″ (57″) tall and an adult seat belt fits correctly. All kids under 16 are required to buckle up.
This is a primary law in Tennessee, so police can stop drivers who do not comply. The fine is $50. If a parent or guardian is in the car but not driving, he or she might also be fined.
Check out the links below for specifics on the Tennessee child restraint law and recommendations beyond the law from safety experts.
Local and State Resources for Tennessee Car Seat Law and Tennessee Booster Seat Law
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security – car seat and booster seat laws and penalties
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital website – information on car seat installation and inspection stations, as well as frequently asked questions
In March of 2016, both chambers of Tennessee’s legislature passed a bill to bring Tennessee child passenger safety measures in line with pediatrician and pediatric hospital recommendations. But only days later the bill was recalled. The following media sites have more on the story.
National Resources for Tennessee Car Seat Law and Tennessee Booster Seat Law
nhtsa.gov – U.S. Department of Transportation / National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website
safercar.gov – The NHTSA publishes this site. Parents Central is the child safety section. This is a great info packed site, so if you have questions about almost anything related to car seats or booster seats, definitely check this one out.
iihs.org – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, child safety page
safekids.org – A global organization about keeping children safe, especially from preventable injuries or fatalities. Their site includes tips on car seat choice and car seat inspection events, among other things.