Wearing a seat belt decreases the chance of dying or being seriously injured in a collision by about 70 percent. Our Occupant Protection program encourages seat belt use and helps parents keep children safe in cars.
Types of Car Seats
|Age Group||Type of Seat||General Guidelines|
|Infant & toddlers||Rear-facing only|
|All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 2 years of age or reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.|
|Toddlers & preschoolers||Convertible|
Forward-facing with harness
|Children who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their convertible seat should use a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer.|
|School-aged children||Booster seat||All children whose weight or height exceeds the forward-facing limit for their car safety seat should use a belt positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are 8 through 12 years of age. All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.|
|Older children||Seat belts||When children are old enough and large enough for the vehicle seat belt to fit them correctly, they should always use a lap and shoulder seat belts for the best protection. All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat.|
Click it or Ticket
This program uses the high visibility enforcement model which begins with intensive public education to inform people that law enforcement will be ticketing seat belt violators. After this wave of publicity, statewide enforcement patrols focus on people who are riding without proper restraints. When this program started in 2002, only 82 percent of drivers in Washington were buckled up. After the first round of Click it or Ticket the rate jumped to 92 percent. In the following years it continued to rise to 95 percent, one of the highest in the nation, where it has remained.
Child Passenger Safety Program
WTSC supports the Washington Child Passenger Safety Program to maintain and support a statewide network of child passenger safety technicians and car seat inspection stations. The program seeks to strengthen efforts to increase compliance with the child restraint law through education of the public and law enforcement officers.