Research shows that the use of car seats can help to save the lives of children in care accidents. Children are too small to benefit from the safety devices that come standard on vehicles. Manufacturers make seat belts to fit adult bodies and air bags to work for individuals of adult height. A proper child seat boosts the child up to allow for air bags to protect and provides alternative seat belts that have a design to work with their small bodies. Because car seats are so beneficial, Alabama has laws mandating their use and penalties for not using them.
According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, children must ride in some type of child seat or booster seat until the age of six. You must put your child in a convertible seat facing forward until he or she is five years old or weighs 40 pounds. Children must ride in an infant or convertible seat that you put in a rear-facing position until he or she weighs 20 pounds or is at least one year old.
You must have any child in your vehicle who is under the age of six in the appropriate style of car seat in the correct position according to the law. If you do not have your child properly restrained, then you could face fines and other penalties if an officer pulls you over.
A part of all fees the state collects for car seat violations goes to a funding program that provides vouchers for car seats for those with low incomes. If you cannot afford a car seat, you can contact the Department of Public Health to see about getting a voucher.