June 16, 2014

The Riley County Police Department employs several certified car seat education and installation technicians and routinely conducts car seat check lanes in the Manhattan and Riley County area. These check lanes are located at the Manhattan Fire Department Headquarters every Tuesday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and by utilizing this free service you can learn firsthand how to properly install a child restraint in your vehicle. These check lanes are made possible because of the collaboration of RCPD, RCEMS and Riley County Child Resource Center as well as the Manhattan Fire Department. 

For more information on the Child Safety Seat program at the Riley County Police Department visit the Child Safety Seat page.

Knowing how to properly install a car seat is only half the battle, educating yourself on state laws and guidelines will help keep your children more safe in the event of a car collision. Cards with this information are provided at our and other car seat check lanes thanks the the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office.

Child Passenger Safety Act (KSA 8-1343)

  • This law requires all children under the age of 4 to be in a federally approved child safety seat.
  • Children ages 4 to 8 must be in a federally approved child safety seat or booster seat unless the child weighs more than 80 pounds or is taller than 4'9.''
  • Children 8 years of age but under the age of 14 must be protected by a safety belt.
  • This law applies to all passenger cars designed for carrying 10 passengers or fewer, as defined by KAS 8-1343a. The fine is $60.00 plus court costs.
  • Persons under age 14 are prohibited from riding in any portion of a vehicle not intended for passengers, as defined by KSA 8-1578a; this includes riding in the back of pickup trucks. The fine for this violation is $60.00 plus court costs.

Safety Belt Use Act (KSA 8-2501)

  • Primary Enforcement: Occupants of a passenger car, as stated above, 14 years of age but younger than 18 years of age can be cited for this violation KSA 8-2503. The fine is $60.00, including court costs.
    • Front-seat occupants of a passenger car, as stated above, 18 years and older can be cited for a seat belt violation. The fine is $10.00 including court costs.
  • Secondary Enforcement: Second and third-row occupants of a passenger car, as stated above, 18 years and older can be cited for a seat belt violation only after another citation is issued, such as a front-seat passenger seat belt violation. The fine is $10.00 including court costs. 

Commercial Seat Belt DOT 49 CFR 392.16, KSA 66-1, 129, KAR 82-4-3i

  • A commercial motor vehicle which has a seat belt assembly installed at the driver's seat shall not be driven unless the driver has properly restrained himself/herself with the seat belt. The fine for this violation is $115.00 plus court costs.

 Child Car Seat Recommendations

  • Select a car seat based on your child's age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
  • Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer's instructions; read the vehicle owner's manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt of LATCH system; and check height and weight limits. 
  • To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer's height and weight requirements. 
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

From Birth to 12 months, your child should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

Children ages 1 to 3 years of age. Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It's the best way to keep them safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer. One your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.

Keep your child, ages 4 to 7, in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it's time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

If you child is between 8 and 12 years of age, keep them in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember, your child should still ride in the back seat because it's safer there.

Car Seat Tips

  •  Read the manufacturer's instructions for both the seat and the vehicle it is being installed in. 
  • Make sure the safety seat is secured correctly, each time you travel with it. 
  • Do not place a rear-facing infant seat in an airbag equipped seat position. This can be deadly.
  • Find a car seat check lane in your area by visiting www.KansasCarSeatCheck.org

*Information provided by the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office.