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Child Safety State Law Tracker

Safe Kids has developed the matrix below listing laws that impact childhood safety.This table is reviewed annually and updates are made quarterly.

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See the key below for additional information.


Laws by State Matrix

 

Car/Booster Seat Law

Seatbelt Law (ages 1-19)

Carbon Monoxide Alarms (Homes)

Carbon Monoxide Alarms (Schools)

Smoke Alarm (All Homes)

Bike Helmet

Sports Concussion

Life Jackets

Graduated Driver's License

Ignition Interlock Brakes

Texting While Driving

Motorcycle Helmets

Schools Required to have AEDs

Speed Limits in School Zones

STATE

* height requirement may lower age

* primary enforcement

 

 

(+) indicates 10-year battery law

 

 

 

Only Minimum Permit Age listed below, see link for all restrictions

Yes = All DUIs

 

 

 

 

Alabama

YES (under 6)

YES (under 15)*

NO

NO

NO

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 8)

15 years

YES (BAC  greater than .15)

YES

YES

YES

NO

Alaska

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)*

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

14 years

YES

YES

NO

NO

YES (20 mph)

Arizona

YES (under 8)*

YES

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years, 6 mos.

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES (15 mph)

Arkansas

YES (under 6)*

YES (under 15)*

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

14 years

YES

YES

NO

NO

YES (25 mph)

California

YES (under 8)

YES (all ages)*

YES +

NO

YES

YES (under 18)

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years, 6 mos.

Judge's Option

YES

YES

NO (but schools are encouraged)

YES (25 mph)

Colorado

YES (under 8)

YES (under 16)

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years-16 years

YES

YES

NO

NO

NO

Connecticut

YES (under 7)

YES (under 16)*

YES

YES

NO

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 13)

16 years

YES

YES

NO

YES

NO

D.C.

 

Yes (all ages)*

NO

NO

NO

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 18)

16 years

Driver's Option

YES

YES

NO

YES (15 mph)

Delaware

YES (under 8)

YES (all ages)*

NO

NO

NO

YES (under 18)

YES

YES (under 13)

16 years

YES (BAC greater than .15)

YES

NO

NO

YES (20 mph)

Florida

YES (under 4)
No Booster Seat Law

YES (under 18)*

YES

NO

YES (+)

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 6)

15 years

YES (BAC  greater than .15)

YES

NO

YES

YES (20 mph)

Georgia

YES (under 8)*

YES

YES

NO

NO

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES (2nd Conviction)

YES

YES

YES

NO

Hawaii

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)*

NO

NO

NO

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years, 6 mos.

YES

YES

NO

YES*

Determined by Transportation Director

Idaho

YES (under 7)

YES (all ages)

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 15)

14 years, 6 mos.

YES (2nd Conviction)

YES

NO

NO

NO

Illinois

YES (under 8)

YES (all ages)*

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES

YES

NO

YES*

YES (20 mph)

Indiana

YES (under 8)

YES (all ages)*

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years-16 years

Judge's Option

YES

NO

NO

Determined by local gov'ts

Iowa

YES (under 6)

YES (under 18)*

NO

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

14 years

YES (BAC  greater than .10)

YES

NO

NO

YES (25 mph)

Kansas

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)*

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES (Page 8)

YES (under 13)

14 years

YES

YES

NO

NO

Determined by local gov'ts

Kentucky

YES (under 7)*

YES (all ages)*

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 12)

16 years

Judge's Option

YES

NO

YES

NO

Louisiana

YES (under 6)

YES (all ages)*

NO

NO

YES (+)

YES (under 12)

YES

YES (under 17)

15 years

YES

YES

YES

NO

NO

Maine

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)*

NO

NO

YES*

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 11)

15 years

YES

YES

NO

YES

YES (15 mph)

Maryland

YES (under 8)*

YES (under 16)*

YES

YES

YES

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years, 9 mos.

YES (BAC  greater than .15)

YES

YES

YES

Determined by local gov'ts (under 35mph)

Massachusetts

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)*

YES

NO

YES

YES (under 17)

YES

YES (under 12)

16 years

YES (2nd Conviction)

YES

YES

YES

YES (20 mph)

Michigan

YES (under 8)*

YES (under 16)*

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 6)

14 years, 9 mos.

YES (BAC  greater than .17)

YES

NO

NO

YES (25 mph)

Minnesota

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)*

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 10)

15 years

YES (BAC  greater than .16)

YES

NO

NO

Determined by local gov'ts (15-20 mph)

Mississippi

YES (under 7)*

YES (all ages)*

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES (2nd Conviction)

Learner's permit, intermediate license holders & school bus drivers

YES

NO

Determined by local gov'ts

Missouri

YES (under 7)*

YES (under 16)*

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 7)

15 years

YES

Drivers under 21

YES

NO

NO

Montana

YES (under 6)

YES (all ages)

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 12)

14 years, 6 mos.

YES (2nd Conviction)

NO

NO

NO

Determined by local gov'ts

Nebraska

YES (under 6)

YES (under 18)

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES

YES

YES

NO

NO

Nevada

YES (under 6)

YES (under 18)

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years, 6 mos.

YES (BAC  greater than .18)

YES

YES

NO

YES (15 -25mph)

New Hampshire

YES (under 6)*

YES (under 18)*

YES

NO

NO

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years, 6 mos.

YES (BAC  greater than .16)

YES

NO

NO

YES (10 mph below usual posted limit)

New Jersey

YES (under 8)

YES (under 18)*

YES

NO

NO

YES (under 17)

YES

YES (under 13)

16 years

YES (BAC  greater than .15)

YES

YES

YES

YES (25 mph)

New Mexico

YES (under 6)

YES (all ages)*

NO

NO

NO

YES (under 18)

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES

Learner's permit & intermediate license holders

NO

NO

YES (15 mph)

New York

YES (under 7)

YES (under 16)*

YES

NO

NO

YES (under 14)

YES

YES (under 12)

16 years

YES

YES

YES

YES

Determined by local gov'ts

North Carolina

YES (under 8)

YES (under 16)*

YES

NO

YES (+)

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES (BAC  greater than .15)

YES

YES

NO

Determined by local gov'ts

North Dakota

YES (under 7)* - Page 14

YES (under 18)* - Page 14

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 11)

14 years

Judge's Option

YES

NO

NO

YES (20 mph)

Ohio

YES (under 8)*

YES (under 15)

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 10)

15 years, 6 mos.

YES (2nd Conviction)

YES

NO

NO

YES (20 mph)

Oklahoma

YES (under 6)

YES (under 13)*

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years, 6 mos.

YES (BAC  greater than .15)

Learner's permit, intermediate license, school bus drivers & public transit drivers

NO

YES

YES (25 mph)

Oregon

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)*

YES

NO

YES

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES

YES

YES

YES*

YES (20 mph)

Pennsylvania

YES (under 8)

YES (under 18)

YES

NO

NO

YES (under 12)

YES

YES (under 13)

16 years

YES (2nd Conviction)

YES

NO

NO

YES (15 mph)

Rhode Island

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)*

YES

NO

NO

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 13)

16 years

Judge's Option (Repeat Offenders Only)

YES

NO

YES*

YES (20 mph)

South Carolina

Yes.

YES (all ages)*

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 12)

15 years

YES (2nd Conviction)

NO

NO

YES

NO

South Dakota

YES (under 5)
No Booster Seat Law

YES (under 18)

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 7)

14 years

Pilot Program

Learner's permit & intermediate license holders

NO

NO (but schools are encouraged)

YES (15 mph)

Tennessee

YES (under 9)*

YES (under 16)*

NO

NO

NO

YES (under 16)

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES

YES

YES

YES

Determined by local gov'ts

Texas

YES (under 8)

YES (all ages)*

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES (BAC  greater than .15)

school bus drivers; drivers in school crossing zones; drivers under 18

NO

YES*

NO

Utah

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES

YES

NO

NO

YES (20 mph)

Vermont

YES (under 8)

 

YES

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES (under 12)

15 years

Driver's Option

YES

YES

NO

YES (25 mph)

Virginia

YES (under 8)

YES (under 18)

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

NO

15 years, 6 mos.

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES (25 mph)

Washington

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)*

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years-15 years, 6 mos.

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES (20 mph)

West Virginia

YES (under 8)*

YES

YES

NO

NO

YES (under 15)

YES

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES (15 mph)

Wisconsin

YES (under 8)*

YES (all ages)*

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

NO

15 years, 6 mos.

YES (BAC greater than .15)

YES

NO

NO

YES (15 mph)

Wyoming

YES (under 9)

YES (all ages)

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES (limited)

YES (under 13)

15 years

YES (BAC greater than .15)

YES

NO

NO

YES (20 mph)

Key for Laws by State

Car/Booster Seat Law: YES (under 6) means that all vehicle passengers under the age of 6 are required to sit in a car or booster seat. A similar designation is provided for children under 7 and under 8. *An asterick (*) indicates that children above a certain height may not be held to the age requirements.

Seatbelt Law: YES (under 16) means that all vehicle passengers under the specified age (in this example 16) are required to wear a seatbelt no matter what seat they are sitting in. An asterick in this field (*) indicates that a police officer may stop a driver solely for violating the seat belt requirement.  This is called “primary enforcement.” In non-primary enforcement states, a ticket for violating the seat belt law must result from another driving violation.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms (Homes): YES means that all single- or multiple-family dwellings are required to have carbon monoxide detectors. In many states, this is required only when it is a new home, one that is being renovated and/or that a sale of the home is taking place.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms (Schools): YES means all public and private schools are required to install carbon monoxide detectors.

Smoke Alarms (Homes): YES means that all new single- or multiple-family dwellings are required to have smoke alarms. In some states, this is required only when it is a new home, one that is being renovated and/or that a sale of the home is taking place.

Bike Helmets:YES (under 16) indicates that a person riding a bicycle under the specified age (in this example 16) is required to wear a helmet.

Sports Concussion:YES means that there is a law to help prevent and limit the damaging effects of concussions in contact sports. Many of the laws include: (1) obtaining signed consent from parents that they recognize the risks involved (2) educating coaches, parents, and athletes, (3) removing athlete from play, and (4) requiring a medical opinions stating the young athlete can return to play.

Lifejackets:YES (under 13) signifies in that state personal floatation devices (PFDs) are required on boats for anyone under the specified age (in this example age of 13).

Graduated Driver’s License: Under Graduated Drivers License (GDL) laws require that a young person’s driving privileges are phased over several years with learner’s Permits, intermediate (provisional) licenses and full licensure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that it is a best practice for the learner’s permit is issued no earlier than when a person becomes 16. For more detailed information on your state’s GDL law, click here.

Ignition Interlock Brakes: Yes means that a person found to have been driving while intoxicated should have Ignition Interlock Brakes installed. An ignition interlock brake is a device that is wired into the ignition system of a vehicle. A convicted drunk driver must blow into the device in order to start their vehicle. If he/she has a measurable amount of alcohol in their system, the vehicle will not start. There are many variations state-by-state on if and when such brake systems are required involving driving while intoxicated. A parenthesis with(2nd Conviction) indicates that a person convicted of a DUI is only required to install an ignition interlock brake if he/she has already been convicted of a DUI once before.

Texting While Driving: YES means that any person driving a motor vehicle is prohibited from sending or reading a text message on cellular phone equipment. Some states have partial bans which say learner's permit & intermediate license holders cannot text and drive.

Motorcycle Helmets: YES indicates that all motorcycle drivers must wear helmets, regardless of age.

Schools Required to Have AEDs: YES means that schools are required to have at least one automated external defibrillator accessible on the school campus. Some laws apply this law to private schools as well and are noted with an exclamation point (!)

Speed Limits in School Zones: YES means that the state (as opposed to local governments) mandates a uniform driving speed limit in all school zones.