Changes in TN Child Passenger Laws

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Changes in TN Child Passenger Laws

Posted: 07/01/2004
Governor Bredesen has recently signed a law which revises the current child restraint law. The new law is slated to take effect on July 1, 2004. Until that time, offenders will receive warnings. The main provisions are these:

Any child under 1 year old (even if he or she weighs over 20 pounds) or any child weighing 20 pounds or less must be in a rear facing child restraint, in the rear seat, if available.

Any child aged 1 – 3 weighing more than 20 pounds should be transported in a forward facing CRS in the rear seat, if available.

Any child 4 through 8 years old, measuring less than 5 feet in height must be in a belt positioning booster seat, in the rear seat, if available.

Provision is made for the transportation of children in medically prescribed modified child restraints.

Children aged 9 – 12 or any child through 12 years of age measuring 5' or more in height must use a seat belt system and is recommended to ride in the rear seat, if available.

Children aged 13 – 15 must use a passenger restraint system.

The driver of the car is responsible for making sure that children under age 16 are properly restrained and may be charged and fined $50 for violation of the law. If the child’s parent or legal guardian is present in the car but not driving, the parent or legal guardian is responsible for making sure that the child is properly transported and may be fined for non-compliance.