Traffic Tip: Note age, weight guidelines for child safety seats

By David Brogger
Oct. 13, 2012 at 5:13 a.m.

This week's traffic tip is in regards to the Texas Transportation Code 545.412, Child Passenger Safety Seat Systems.

Sec. 545.412. Child passenger safety seat systems; offense.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person operates a passenger vehicle, transports a child who is younger than eight years of age, unless the child is taller than four feet, nine inches, and does not keep the child secured during the operation of the vehicle in a child passenger safety seat system according to the instructions of the manufacturer of the safety seat system.

(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $25 for the first offense and not more than $250 for a second or subsequent offense.

(b-1) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 4, Sec. 69.01(1), eff. September 28, 2011.

(c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person was operating the vehicle in an emergency or for a law enforcement purpose.

Below are some guidelines issued by the Texas Department of Transportation regarding safety seats:

Safety Seat Guidelines

Safety belts are designed for adults, not children. Use a booster seat to lift your child up and prevent severe injuries in a crash. Please remember the following guidelines when buying the proper seat for your child.

Birth-1 year, up to 35 pounds

Use a rear-facing seat until your baby reaches the weight limit or height limit of the seat.

Secure the chest clip even with your baby's armpits.

Fasten harness straps snugly against your baby's body.

1-4 years, 20 to 40 pounds

Use a forward-facing seat for as long as the safety seat manufacturer recommends it.

Fasten harness straps snugly against your child's body.

Secure the chest clip even with your child's armpits.

Latch the tether strap to the corresponding anchor if your vehicle has one.

4-8 years, more than 40 pounds

Use a booster seat.

Fasten the lap belt across your child's thighs and hips, not stomach.

Strap the diagonal belt across the chest to rest on the shoulder, not the neck.

For additional information about child safety seats, call Safe Riders at (800) 252-8255.

The Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit invites citizens to inform us of any traffic issues that you observe. The easiest way to do this is go to our website,, then go to the VPD Customer Service Request tab in the center of the page and follow the directions.

If you have a traffic law question, contact Senior Police Officer David Brogger, Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, 361-485-3700.



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