Safe Kids of Virginia  

Education Information

Car Safety

Most vehicle crashes occur near home and can be violent even at lower speeds.

Among other things, Virginia laws regulate the use of child restraint devices, safety belts and the transportation of children in the back of pickup trucks. The links below provide details on some of these regulations.

Child passenger safety tips

Virginia’s child motor vehicle safety seat laws

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The Virginia Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children should remain rear-facing until two years of age or the maximum rear-facing height or weight limit of the safety seat is reached.

Child safety seat law

(Code of Virginia Article 13- Section 46.2)

  • As of July 1, 2007, any child through age 7 will be required to be properly secured in a child restraint device in all seating positions.
  • Rear-facing child restraint devices must be used in the back seat of a vehicle. If a vehicle does not have a back seat, the restraint device may be placed in the front passenger seat. This is only if the vehicle does not have a passenger side airbag or the airbag has been deactivated.
  • This law applies to anyone who provides transportation for a child in a vehicle manufactured after Jan. 1, 1968.
  • Public transportation (taxis, buses), regulation school buses, executive sedans, limousines and farm vehicles are exempt.

Passenger safety belt law

(Code of Virginia Article 12- Section 46.2)

  • Children between 8 and 16 years of age must be belted correctly in a vehicle safety belt if the vehicle was manufactured after Jan. 1, 1968. 
  • Public transportation (taxis, buses), regulation school buses, executive sedans and limousines are exempt.

Pickup truck law

(Code of Virginia Section 46.2-1094)

  • No persons under 16 years of age shall be transported in the rear cargo area of a pickup truck. Some exemptions exist for certain parades and farming operations.

*For residents who cannot afford a safety seat, assistance can be found through the Virginia Department of Health at 1-800-732-8333.

*Children ages 12 and under should be properly restrained in the back seat.

For more information contact, Safe Kids Virginia (804) 628-2077 or your local Safe Kids organization


Children's Hospital of Richmond
VCU Health System
Safe Kids Virginia
401 N. 12th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23298-5917
Phone: (804) 628-2077
Fax: (804) 827-1748
Updated 09/23/2011
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