Arkansas Car Seat Laws 2022 (Rear, Forward & Booster)

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Arkansas car seat laws require a child younger than 15 years to be secured in a child restraint system. Children under 6 years and weighing less than 60 pounds have to be placed in a car seat. Those older than 6 years and at least 60 pounds have to wear a seat belt.

Disclaimer: This content does not constitute legal advice. It is solely for informational purposes. Always check the original source of the law for the latest version.

Arkansas Car Seat Laws

Arkansas Rear-Facing Car Seat Law

There is no specific rear-facing car seat law in Arkansas. Under Arkansas state law, a child younger than 6 years and weighing less than 60 pounds must be secured in a car seat. (1)

In the absence of a definite Arkansas rear-facing child seat law, you should refer to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

While the legal rear-facing car seat age in Arkansas is absent, the AAP recommends that newborn babies ride in an infant rear-facing car seat till they are 2 years old. The rear-facing seat must never be placed in front of an active airbag. 

The driver is responsible for ensuring compliance with the law. A violation will result in a penalty of a minimum $25 and maximum $100. (2)

Age: Newborn to 2 years (recommended)
Weight: Less than 60 pounds 
Penalty: Minimum $25, maximum $100.

Arkansas Forward-Facing Car Seat Law

There is no forward-facing car seat law in Arkansas. However, car seat laws in Arkansas mandate that children younger than 6 years and weighing less than 60 pounds be placed in a car seat. (1) Those who are medically unable to use a child restraint are exempt. (3)

Since there is no Arkansas forward-facing child seat law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines can serve as a reference point. Once children outgrow the maximum height and weight limits of their rear-facing seats, they can move to a forward-facing seat with a harness. 

The forward-facing car seat age in Arkansas is not stated in the law. But children should ride forward-facing till they reach the seat’s maximum limits. The penalty for violating the law ranges from $25 to $100. (2)

Age: Younger than 6 years
Weight: Less than 60 pounds
Penalty: Minimum $25, maximum $100.

Arkansas Booster Seat Law

The child booster seat law in Arkansas is not definite. However, child seat requirements in Arkansas state that a child under 6 years of age and weighing less than 60 pounds must be restrained in a car seat. (1)

As per the recommendations of the NHTSA, once a child outgrows the height and weight limits of their forward-facing seats, they should move to a high-back or a backless booster seat. A child who is physically unable to sit in a booster seat is exempt from Arkansas booster seat requirements. (3)

The booster seat age in Arkansas is 6 years. After that, a child can wear a seat belt provided it fits them properly. A violation of the Arkansas child seat laws will be punished with a fine of $25 to $100.

Age: Younger than 6 years
Weight: Less than 60 pounds
Penalty: Minimum $25, maximum $100.

Arkansas Child Front Seat Law

There is no child front seat law in Arkansas. The law does not state any seat preference. 

However, according to the recommendations of the AAP, children under 13 years of age should ride in the backseat as it is the safer position. 

If you are carrying your child in the front seat, they must be secured in a child passenger safety system that is appropriate for their height and weight requirements. In the case of a rear-facing seat, the front seat passenger-side airbag must be deactivated.

For a forward-facing and booster seat, the vehicle seat must be pushed as far away from the dashboard as possible. Since the front seat age in Arkansas is not mentioned, it is best to follow the guidelines of the AAP.

Age: 13 years and older (recommended) 

Arkansas Child Seat Belt Law

According to the child seat belt law in Arkansas, children who are at least 6 years old or weigh at least 60 pounds can wear an adult safety belt. (1) Children under 15 years old must be properly secured whether they are seated in the front seat or the backseat. 

The requirements of Arkansas children’s seat belt law do not apply to an ambulance or other emergency vehicle and in an emergency situation when the child’s life is threatened.

A child who is physically unable, due to medical reasons, to wear a seatbelt is also exempt from seat belt rules in Arkansas. The reasons should be certified by a physician. 

A person who is not wearing a seat belt can be fined any amount between $25 to $100. (2)

Age: 6+ years
Weight: At least 60 pounds 
Penalty: Minimum $25, maximum $100.

Arkansas Taxi Child Seat Law

According to the taxi child seat law in Arkansas, taxis are exempt from Arkansas car seat regulations. Under the law, a child passenger younger than 6 years and weighing less than 60 pounds must be in a car seat. (1) A vehicle ‘operated for hire’ is exempt. Therefore, taxis are not required to have a car seat. 

As parents and caregivers, it is best if you arrange an appropriate taxi child seat in Arkansas for your child. Depending on the child’s height and weight, you can select a rear-facing, forward-facing, or booster car seat. 

It is your responsibility as a caregiver to ensure that the seat is securely fixed. You can refer to the car seat manual or request assistance from the taxi driver for proper installation. 

Arkansas Ridesharing Child Seat Law

There is no clear ridesharing child seat law in Arkansas. Under the law, the driver of the vehicle has to ensure that children younger than 6 years and less than 60 pounds are secured in a car seat. (1)

While the responsibility rests with the driver, the law does not specify who should provide a child seat. Nor does it mention ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. 

In this case, either the parents or the driver should provide an appropriate car seat. For infants, it includes a rear-facing car seat.

For children under 6 years and weighing less than 60 pounds, a forward-facing car seat or a booster seat is required. Children at least 6 years old or weighing at least 60 pounds can wear a seat belt. 

Arkansas Child Seat Replacement Law

The child seat replacement law in Arkansas is not definite. It is best to refer to the NHTSA recommendations. 

If your car is involved in a moderate or severe accident in Arkansas, you must replace the child safety seat. It may have defects not visible to the eye. 

However, if your vehicle suffered a low-impact accident, there is no need to automatically replace the car seat. A low-impact crash is one that satisfies all five conditions prescribed by the NHTSA.

In addition to child seat replacement after an accident, you should replace it after it has passed the expiry date. Most car seats typically last for 6 years. You should also replace it if it has been recalled. Check the seat label for more information. 

Leaving Child in the Car in Arkansas

There is no law on leaving a child in a vehicle in Arkansas. But there are many risks associated with leaving a child unattended in a vehicle. The most common danger is heat stroke. 

The temperature inside the vehicle can rise rapidly. As children’s bodies heat up faster than adults, they are at great risk of suffering a heat stroke. Other dangers include the child getting kidnapped, setting the car in motion, getting strangled by seat belts or power windows, or having some other in-car accident. 

Even though leaving a child in the car in Arkansas is not technically illegal, it may be covered under other serious provisions of child neglect/endangerment. Thus, never leave a child alone in a vehicle, even for a few minutes. 

Choosing a Child Car Seat in Arkansas

When choosing a car seat in Arkansas, you should refer to the NHTSA recommendations.

From the time your child is born till they turn at least 2 years old, a rear-facing car seat is the best car seat to use in Arkansas. They can then move to a forward-facing seat with a harness.

Once they reach the maximum height and weight limits of the forward-facing seat, it is time to move to booster seats. A high-back or backless seat is the best booster seat to use in Arkansas.

Whichever child passenger safety seats in Arkansas you choose must meet the applicable federal safety standards. 

Car Seat Installation Help in Arkansas

All car seats must be installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Together with that, you should also refer to your vehicle manual for instructions. The entire process can be tedious.

The most important goal is to secure the seat perfectly to ensure the safety of your child. To help you with car seat installation, there are different stations with certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians.

You can get your car seat checked or installed and also learn more about child passenger safety. Some of the stations are:

Arkansas Car Seat Safety Resources

  • Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office
  • Arkansas Farm Bureau Insurance: It is a group of insurance companies that provides products and services to the people of Arkansas. It also has vital information about car seat laws and safety tips for installing them properly. Its Infant Car Seat Program is open to members. 
  • Arkansas Children’s Hospital: It has a comprehensive list of resources for car seat safety, including the basics as well as angle tolerance testing for babies.  
  • UAMS Health: As part of their Patient Education Resources, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has resources for parents on child passenger safety. 

FAQ

How long should a child ride in a rear-facing car seat in Arkansas? 

The law does not expressly state an age. But it is recommended that a child ride in a rear-facing car seat till the age of 2 years. 

Can you put a rear-facing car seat in the front seat in Arkansas?

It is best to put a rear-facing car seat in the back. If you do put it in front, the front seat airbag must be deactivated. 

Can you put a rear-facing car seat in the middle rear seat in Arkansas?

You can put a rear-facing car seat in the middle rear seat, but it must fit properly. Check the car seat as well as your vehicle’s manuals.

When can a baby face forward in a car seat in Arkansas?

There is no specific age. But children can face forward after they have outgrown their rear-facing seat. This typically happens around 2 years of age.

How old for a booster seat in Arkansas?

There is no specific age under the law. But children should ride in a booster seat once they outgrow their forward-facing seat according to its manufacturing limits. 

When to use a backless booster seat in Arkansas?

You can use a backless booster seat if your vehicle seat has a headrest and the child’s ears are not higher than the seat back. 

When can a child sit in the front seat with a booster in Arkansas?

Children should ideally ride in the backseat till they are 13 years old. But they can ride in the front seat with a booster with the seat pushed back. 

When can a child stop using a booster seat in Arkansas?

A child can stop using a booster seat in Arkansas when they turn 6 years old or weigh at least 60 pounds (regardless of age). 

When can a child sit in the front seat in Arkansas?

Children are safer in the backseat of the vehicle. But they can sit in the front seat in an appropriate child passenger restraint if necessary. 

When to switch from 5 point harness to a seat belt in Arkansas?

When the child outgrows the height and weight limits of the 5-point harness, they can switch to wearing a seat belt in a booster seat. 

When can a child use a regular seat belt in Arkansas?

Under the law, a child can start using a regular seat belt once they are 6 years old or weigh at least 60 pounds (regardless of age). 

Do you need a car seat in a taxi in Arkansas?

Taxis in Arkansas are not required to have a car seat. However, it is recommended that you carry an appropriate car seat for your child. 

Do you need a car seat in a Uber in Arkansas?

The law does not mention ridesharing services like Uber. But either the caregiver or the driver should provide a federally approved and appropriate car seat. 

Do you need a car seat in a Lyft in Arkansas?

The law is not clear on this issue. But either the caregiver or the driver should provide an appropriate car seat to ensure the child’s safety.

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