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Massachusetts Child safety seat and booster seat law

I was pulled over a few months ago and received a ticket for Driving with an expired sticker, License not in my possesion, and a Car Seat Violation. I was giving a warning for all but the Car Seat Violation My 4 year old daughter was in a booster seat(not the high back type).
 
According to the officer she had to be 5 to be in a booster seat. Her Doctor as well as my hometown Police Department said she was fine in a booster seat because her height and weight were over the minimum requirements for such. (I was pulled over by state police).I explained this to the officer that was told by Town Police and her Pediatrician that she was OK for it, and he told me it didn't matter she had to be 5 years old. I have filed for a appeal for the ticket, am I in the right, that regardless of age if my daughters height and weight are over the limits for her high back, but fit in the regulations for a booster then it's legal? or does she have to be 5 years regardless of height and weight?

 
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Editor's Response

My understanding of the new child safety seat law is that it requires all children to use a federally approved car seat or booster seat until they reach the age of eight or attain a height of 4 feet 9 inches.  For more information, see Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, Section 7AA.  Section 7AA states:  "A passenger in a motor vehicle on any way who is under the age of 8 shall be fastened and secured by a child passenger restraint, unless such passenger measures more than 57 inches in height. The  child passenger restraint shall be properly fastened and secured according to the manufacturer’s instructions."
 
I'm not an expert on this issue (and, frankly, I'm a bit confused by the information I found on government sites), but I don't believe the law makes a distinction between car seats and booster seats and has been interpreted to require parents to move the child to a booster seat when the child reaches the weight limit on their forward facing child safety seat.  Here is a link to the state Office of Public Safety site regarding child safety seats.   Perhaps you should try calling that office for some clarification.  Please let our readers know what you discover by updating this thread.
 

Child Booster seat laws MA

The law does state facts about a child's age, however if you check with your insurance company or your local DMV they will give information based upon what state you live in. In researching this for my sister because her children are overweight, I found that that it's not age that determines when a child no longer has to ride in a child safety seat, it's weight. Also you should always appeal any traffic citation you recieve if you feel it's in error. If you do any research or have any notes from the child's doctor pertaining to the child's weight or disability bring them to the hearing.

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