Quebec changes child car seat law – New mandatory age

Quebec-changes-child-car-seat-law-min

Quebec changes child car seat law – Parents need to make sure their cars are equipped with proper child seats as soon as possible, because a big change is coming in less than a few weeks with upgraded laws concerning their mandatory use.

In December of 2017 Quebec’s then ruling Liberal party proposed several changes to the Highway Safety Code. One of the regulations at the time required that children under 63 centimetres (a little over 2 feet) must be secured in a child or booster seat until they reached the allowed height. The CAA Quebec had stated that the requirements were outdated and recommended children use the seats until they reached 4′ 9″ and backed a proposal to raise the mandatory age up to 9 years old. The Liberal government then tabled a new regulation, but raising it to a height of 145 centimetres (4.457 feet), which on average is reached at 9 years old.

On March 30th 2019, the CAQ announced they will officially extend the mandatory use of child seats to the proposed height of 145 centimetres and the new SAAQ Highway Security Code law will come into effect this April 18th, effectively making it mandatory for children up to around 9 years old as well. Not abiding by the law not only holds potential danger for a child, but fines as well. Here is some information from the SAAQ concerning the new regulations:

CAR SEATS – IT’S THE LAW: Children will have to be secured in a child safety seat that is appropriate for their weight and height until they are 9 years old or at least 145 cm tall. Depending on the child’s weight and height, this seat should be either an infant seat, a child seat or a booster seat.

IF YOU BREAK THE LAW: In addition to putting a child’s life in danger, you are committing an offence under the Highway Safety Code and are liable to a fine of $80 to $100, plus fees and 3 demerit points.

CHILDREN WHO CANNOT — USE A SEAT BELT SAFELY: They must continue to use a booster seat suited to their weight and height, even if they have reached a sitting height of 145 cm or more.

USING UBER WITH CHILDREN: Children whose sitting height is less than 145 cm must be secured in a child safety seat appropriate for their weight and height.

AIRBAGS AND CAR SEATS:

Car seats should never be installed on the front seat. Children aged 12 or younger should sit in the back seat. If you have no choice but to place a child in the front seat (in a car seat or otherwise), you must have the vehicle’s airbag deactivated AND push the passenger seat all the way back so that the child is as far away as possible from the dashboard.

WINTER COATS AND CAR SEATS: If a child’s winter coat has not been sufficiently compressed, the straps will not be tight enough and will not restrain the child effectively in the event of a collision. The child could be hurt or thrown from the seat. Each time you put your child in a car seat, make sure that your child is buckled in snuggly by inserting a finger between the chest and the straps. If you have difficulty pushing your finger through, the straps are tight enough. Check the adjustment at the hips and make sure that your child’s coat doesn’t bunch under the straps or behind his or her back. Straps should be snug, in both warm and cold weather.
For more details and how to properly use a child or infant car seat or a booster, you can download the SAAQ document at: https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/documents/publications/secure-them-life.pdf

By: Bonnie Wurst – [email protected]
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