The new law requires children to be in rear-facing infant car seats until they are one year or weigh 20 pounds. After that, they must be in forward-facing child car seats until they are five or weigh 40 pounds, in booster seats until they turn six, and in regular seat belts until they turn 15.
Under current Alabama law, children five and older can legally use regular adult seat belts. However, guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say many children under age 12 are too small to be safely secured with adult seat belts.
Booster seats elevate the child so the vehicle’s safety belt fits the child snugly at the shoulder and pelvis instead of around the neck and abdomen, which is inappropriate and dangerous.