Show Some Restraint
On one occasion, when I was driving as a chauffeur, I had met the young family for a curbside pick-up. I proceeded through the motions, as any good chauffeur would. I opened the passenger side rear door to allow the couple and their newbor entry, while I began to load their luggage. I noticed that they had with them a car seat for their baby, which was a relief, because the trip details I had didn’t show that any car seats were requested from our company. Then, as I normally do, I gently prompted the parents to install the seat because of their familiarity. The father nodded approvingly and I began to load their luggage. Soon, we began our forty mile drive to their destination.
But, it wasn’t until I was a mile or so from the drop off point that I noticed in the rearview mirror that the parents had their baby seated between them, without restraints, and with no car seat anywhere in sight. At some point, the parents threw the car seat into the trunk of the car prior to my closing it, and I failed to notice. Sadly, this placed their child at risk and it put me at odds with the law. But, it was an invaluable lesson for me and I think it will be for you too, especially if you’re planning on using a car service in California . Resident or not, if you're traveling with kids, it's important to learn the laws surrounding restraints and a good executive transportation company's policies on the matter.
Kids and Car Seats
Current California law specifies which ages and sizes of children require cars seats and what kind. And car seats are not optional. I’ve attempted to pick up passengers only to find that they had children who legally required a seat, but they didn’t have one with them. These individuals also hadn’t requested that the company provide one. Many companies, including CoolRide, do provide car seats for a small fee. So here’s the law you’ll need to know if you’re going to travel with kids in California. While we can't guarantee it reflects the requirements of other states, parents and guardians need to learn requirements:
All children under 8 years of age or 4’9” in height must be seated in the rear of any vehicle. Some exceptions can be made for medical reasons or certain vehicle types.
All children must be seated in the appropriate infant or booster seat, unless they have reached either their 8th birthday or are 4’9”.
Children from newborn to 1 year old or who weigh at least 20 pounds must be seated in a rear facing seat.
Children more than a year old or 20 pounds may be in a forward facing seat, so long as it has a five point harness.
Children under 8 years old or 4’9” tall, but who are too large for the above seats, must be seated in a booster seat. Use a high-back booster for vehicles without headrests or with low car back rest, which is lower than the child’s ears.
Children older than 8 or taller than 4’9” may use a seat belt alone, so long as it fits properly.
All information listed above is taken from California Vehicle Code 27360, your best source for understanding carseat requirements in the state.
Traveling With Your Children
Another thing to note is that if you are a parent and will be traveling with children, make sure that you know how to properly install a car seat. This is need-to-know information whether you bring your own or will be using a transportation company's loaner seat. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80% of cars seats are installed improperly. And, remember to restrain yourself (sorry, I couldn’t restrain myself from saying that). California Vehicle Code, Section 27315 states that all persons riding in cars must be buckled-up, no exceptions.
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