Safety Belt & Child Restraint Laws

Seat belt use is required by the driver and those passengers occupying the front seat of any motor vehicle that is equipped with passenger restraints. 

Child Restraint Laws

Kansas law requires seat belts, booster seats, and/or child seats for children riding in motor vehicles. The requirements are:

  • Children under 1 year of age and 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing child seat.
  • Children ages 1- 3 must be properly restrained in a forward-facing child seat.
  • Children ages 4- 7 are required to ride in a booster seat unless: the child weighs more than 80 pounds, the child is taller than 4' feet 9," or only a lap belt is available. Children who meet the above height and weight criteria must be protected by a safety belt.
  • Children ages 8-13 must be protected by a safety belt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do children age 4-7 need booster seats?

Seat belts are made to fit adults and do not protect children properly. Booster seats work by raising a child up so that the lap and shoulder belt are positioned safely. Booster seats reduce the risk of injury by 59 percent as compared to using only seat belts.

Are there different types of booster seats?

There are two kinds - high-back and no-back. A high-back booster seat provides head and neck support and can be used in all vehicles that have lap/shoulder safety belt systems. Some forward-facing car seats convert to become high back booster seats. A no-back booster seat should only be used in vehicles with built-in head rests. All boosters should be used with the vehicles' lap/shoulder belt system, never a lap belt only.

Where do I purchase a booster seat, and how much does one cost?

Booster seats are available at department stores, toy stores and other retail outlets. A no-back booster seat costs approximately $15, and a high-back booster seat ranges from $40-$100 depending on the style. If you need assistance, call (866)-SEATCHECK for the location of the nearest child seat inspection station.

Safety Tips for Booster Seats

  • Always follow the instructions provided with your seat and vehicle.
  • Make sure the shoulder belt is snug across the chest and rests flat across the center of the collar bone the shoulder belt should never be placed behind a child's back or under the arm.
  • The lap belt should rest low across the pelvic area on the hip bones-the lap belt should never rest on the stomach area.
  • Teach your children to buckle up and to pull up on the shoulder belt to make the lap belt tight.
  • All booster seats are required by law to comply with the same safety standards as child seats.
  • The booster seat should follow the child - make sure carpools, child care providers, family, and friends have access to your child's booster seat.

For more information call Safe Kids Kansas at (785) 296-1223 or (785) 296-4491, the Kansas Safety Belt Education Office at (800) 416-2522, or contact Sgt Chad McCary.