Oregon law requires that all motor vehicle operators and passengers be properly secured with a safety belt or safety harness. Child passengers must be restrained in approved child safety seats. More importantly, the best defense in the event of a car crash is a safety belt. It can save your life and prevent severe injuries.
For adult drivers, the safety belt should fit snugly and be worn low and tight across the hips and not across the stomach. The shoulder belt should come over the collarbone, away from the neck and cross over the breastbone. It is dangerous to wear a safety belt behind the back because it offers no protection.
Young passengers must be restrained in approved child safety seats until they weigh forty pounds or reach the upper weight limit for the car seat. Infants must ride rear-facing until they reach both one year of age and twenty pounds. Children over forty pounds or who have reached the upper weight limit for their forward-facing car seat must use boosters until they reach 4'9" tall or age eight and the adult belt fits correctly. Effective January 2012, the law now allows the continued use of child seats up to the highest weight limit allowed by the seat manufacturer, as an alternative to boosters, for children over forty pounds but under age eight or less than 4’9” tall.
Proper installation of a child safety seat is not as easy as it looks, and an improperly installed child seat can do more harm than good.
to find a child safety seat inspection station near you.
for more information on Oregon’s occupant protection program, including help with car seats and tips for using safety belts and child seats properly.