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Office of Traffic Safety

Child Passenger Safety

4 Steps for Kids


Parents and caregivers are encouraged to follow the 4 Steps for Kids guidelines to determine which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on age and size.

Is it Booster Time?Tips to see if your child is ready for a booster seat (pdf)

To find a child safety seat check event or facility in your area, visit one of the following Web sites, or call your local police or fire department for information:

California Highway Patrol – Seat checks are carried out at every local CHP office.  Contact your local office for dates, locations and details.  Click “Office Locator” at

California Safe Kids

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Click “Locate a Child Seat Fitting Station” at

For car seat resources available year-round throughout the Sacramento region, including fitting stations, training classes and special needs, click here

California’s Occupant Protection Law
As of 2012, California law requires that children be properly secured in the back seat in a proper child restraint system until they are at least eight years old.* Additionally, all children under age 16 must be properly secured in either a proper child restraint system or seat belt.  On a first offense, a child passenger violation will cost a minimum of $475 with penalty assessments.  A second or subsequent offense carries  a minimum cost of $1,055.  If the parent is not in the car, the driver gets the ticket.

Estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that 33 children age four and under would have been saved in 2008 in California had they been properly restrained in a child safety seat.

*NHTSA recommends all children 12 and under ride in the back seat.