Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 12. EQUIPMENT OF VEHICLES [24000 - 28150]

  ( Division 12 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 5. Other Equipment [27000 - 28150]

  ( Chapter 5 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 3.3. Child Safety Belt and Passenger Restraint Requirements [27360 - 27368]
  ( Heading of Article 3.3 amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1101, Sec. 3. )

27360.
  

(a) Except as provided in Section 27363 a parent, legal guardian, or driver shall not transport on a highway in a motor vehicle, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (3) of Section 27315, a child or ward who is under eight years of age, without properly securing that child in a rear seat in an appropriate child passenger restraint system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a driver if the parent or legal guardian of the child is also present in the motor vehicle and is not the driver.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 474, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2012.)

27360.5.
  

(a) A parent, legal guardian, or driver shall not transport on a highway in a motor vehicle, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 27315, a child or ward who is eight years of age or older, but less than 16 years of age, without properly securing that child or ward in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a driver if the parent or legal guardian of the child is also present in the motor vehicle and is not the driver.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 474, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2012.)

27360.6.
  

(a) (1) For a conviction under Section 27360 or 27360.5, a first offense is punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100), except that the court may reduce or waive the fine if the defendant establishes to the satisfaction of the court that he or she is economically disadvantaged, and the court, instead, refers the defendant to a community education program that includes, but is not limited to, education on the proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system for children of all ages, and provides certification to the court of completion of that program. Upon completion of the program, the defendant shall provide proof of participation in the program. If an education program on the proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system is not available within 50 miles of the residence of the defendant, the requirement to participate in that program shall be waived. If the fine is paid, waived, or reduced, the court shall report the conviction to the department pursuant to Section 1803.

(2) The court may require a defendant described under paragraph (1) to attend an education program that includes demonstration of proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system and provides certification to the court that the defendant has presented for inspection a child passenger restraint system that meets applicable federal safety standards.

(b) (1) A second or subsequent conviction under Section 27360 or 27360.5 is punishable by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250), no part of which may be waived by the court, except that the court may reduce or waive the fine if the defendant establishes to the satisfaction of the court that he or she is economically disadvantaged, and the court, instead refers the defendant to a community education program that includes, but is not limited to, education on the proper installation and use of child passenger restraint systems for children of all ages, and provides certification to the court of completion of that program. Upon completion of the program, the defendant shall provide proof of participation in the program. If an education program on the proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system is not available within 50 miles of the residence of the defendant, the requirement to participate in that program shall be waived. If the fine is paid, waived, or reduced, the court shall report the conviction to the department pursuant to Section 1803.

(2) The court may require a defendant described under paragraph (1) to attend an education program that includes demonstration of proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system and provides certification to the court that the defendant has presented for inspection a child passenger restraint system that meets applicable federal safety standards.

(c) Notwithstanding any other law, the fines collected under this section shall be allocated as follows:

(1) (A) Sixty percent to health departments of local jurisdictions where the violation occurred, to be used for a community education and assistance program that includes, but is not limited to, demonstration of the proper installation and use of child passenger restraint systems for children of all ages and assistance to economically disadvantaged families in obtaining a restraint system through a low-cost purchase or loan. The county or city health department shall designate a coordinator to facilitate the creation of a special account and to develop a relationship with the court system to facilitate the transfer of funds to the program. The county or city may contract for the implementation of the program. Prior to obtaining possession of a child passenger restraint system pursuant to this subdivision, a person shall attend an education program that includes demonstration of proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system.

(B) As the proceeds from fines become available, county or city health departments shall prepare and maintain a listing of all child passenger restraint low-cost purchase or loaner programs in their counties, including a semiannual verification that all programs listed are in existence. Each county or city shall forward the listing to the Office of Traffic Safety in the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and the courts, birthing centers, community child health and disability prevention programs, county clinics, prenatal clinics, women, infants, and children programs, and county hospitals in that county, who shall make the listing available to the public. The Office of Traffic Safety shall maintain a listing of all of the programs in the state.

(2) Twenty-five percent to the county or city for the administration of the community education program.

(3) Fifteen percent to the city, to be deposited in its general fund except that, if the violation occurred in an unincorporated area, this amount shall be allocated to the county for purposes of paragraph (1).

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 474, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2012.)

27361.
  

A law enforcement officer reasonably suspecting a violation of Section 27360 or 27360.5, or both of those sections, may stop a vehicle transporting a child appearing to the officer to be within the age specified in Section 27360 or 27360.5. The officer may issue a notice to appear for a violation of Section 27360 or 27360.5.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 474, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2012.)

27362.
  

(a) A manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer shall not sell, offer for sale, or install in a motor vehicle, a child passenger restraint system that does not conform to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards on the date of manufacture. Responsibility for compliance with this section shall rest with the individual selling the system, offering the system for sale, or installing the system. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as follows:

(1) Upon a first conviction, by a fine not exceeding four hundred dollars ($400), or by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than 90 days, or both.

(2) Upon a second or subsequent conviction, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than 180 days, or both.

(b) The fines collected for a violation of this section shall be allocated as follows:

(1) (A) Sixty percent to the county or city health department where the violation occurred, to be used for a child passenger restraint low-cost purchase or loaner program which shall include, but not be limited to, education on the proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system. The county health department shall designate a coordinator to facilitate the creation of a special account and to develop a relationship with the superior court to facilitate the transfer of funds to the program. The county may contract for the implementation of the program. Prior to obtaining possession of a child passenger restraint system pursuant to this section, a person shall receive information relating to the importance of utilizing that system.

(B) As the proceeds from fines become available, county health departments shall prepare and maintain a listing of all child passenger restraint low-cost purchase or loaner programs in their counties, including a semiannual verification that all programs listed are in existence. Each county shall forward the listing to the Office of Traffic Safety in the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and the courts, birthing centers, community child health and disability prevention programs, and county hospitals in that county, who shall make the listing available to the public. The Office of Traffic Safety shall maintain a listing of all of the programs in the state.

(2) Twenty-five percent to the county for the administration of the program.

(3) Fifteen percent to the city, to be deposited in its general fund except that, if the violation occurred in an unincorporated area, this amount shall be allocated to the county for purposes of paragraph (1).

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 22, Sec. 204. Effective January 1, 2006.)

27362.1.
  

(a) No individual may sell or offer for sale a child passenger restraint system that was in use by a child during an accident involving a motor vehicle.

(b) A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100).

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 703, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2003.)

27363.
  

(a) The court may exempt from the requirements of this article any class of child by age, weight, or size if it is determined that the use of a child passenger restraint system would be impractical by reason of physical unfitness, medical condition, or size. The court may require satisfactory proof of the child’s physical unfitness, medical condition, or size and that an appropriate special needs child passenger restraint system is not available.

(b) In case of a life-threatening emergency, or when a child is being transported in an authorized emergency vehicle, if there is no child passenger restraint system available, a child may be transported without the use of that system, but the child shall be secured by a seatbelt.

(c) A child weighing more than 40 pounds may be transported in the backseat of a vehicle while wearing only a lap safety belt when the backseat of the vehicle is not equipped with a combination lap and shoulder safety belt.

(d) Notwithstanding Section 27360, a child or ward under eight years of age who is four feet nine inches in height or taller may be properly restrained by a safety belt, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 27315, rather than by a child passenger restraint system.

(e) Notwithstanding Section 27360, a child or ward under eight years of age may ride properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards in the front seat of a motor vehicle under any of the following circumstances:

(1) There is no rear seat.

(2) The rear seats are side-facing jump seats.

(3) The rear seats are rear-facing seats.

(4) The child passenger restraint system cannot be installed properly in the rear seat.

(5) All rear seats are already occupied by children seven years of age or under.

(6) Medical reasons necessitate that the child or ward not ride in the rear seat. The court may require satisfactory proof of the child’s medical condition.

(f) Notwithstanding subdivision (e), a child shall not be transported in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system in the front seat of a motor vehicle that is equipped with an active frontal passenger airbag.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 474, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2012.)

27363.5.
  

(a) A public or private hospital, clinic, or birthing center shall, at the time of the discharge of a child, provide to and discuss with the parents or the person to whom the child is released, if the child is under eight years of age, information on the current law requiring child passenger restraint systems, safety belts, and the transportation of children in rear seats.

(b) A public or private hospital, clinic, or birthing center shall also provide to and discuss with the parent or person to whom the child is released, if the child is under eight years of age, contact information to direct the person to an Internet Web site or other contact that could provide, at no cost or low cost, information and assistance relating to child passenger restraint system requirements, installation, and inspection. Pursuant to this subdivision, the hospital, clinic, or birthing center does not have any additional obligation to provide patients with any assistance relating to child passenger restraint systems, other than providing the contact information as set forth in this subdivision. This contact information may include the following:

(1) Call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK or visit www.seatcheck.org to find a nearby location.

(2) The telephone number of the local office of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.

(3) The Internet Web site for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Child Safety Seat Inspection Station Locator.

(4) The Internet Web site for the State Department of Public Health’s child passenger restraint system safety inspection locator.

(c) A public or private hospital, clinic, or birthing center shall not be responsible for the failure of the parent or person to whom the child is released to properly transport the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 185, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2013.)

27364.
  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this article, to insure that children, who are, because of their tender years, helpless dependent passengers, are provided with the safest transportation possible.

(b) It is the further intent of the Legislature to stress and communicate to all drivers in this state the importance of using child passenger restraint systems.

(c) Nothing in this article shall be construed to extend application of these provisions to a class of children other than the class of children herein specified.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 512, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 1996.)

27365.
  

(a) (1) A car rental agency in California shall inform each of its customers of Section 27360 by posting, in a place conspicuous to the public in each established place of business of the agency, a notice not smaller than 15 by 20 inches which states the following:

“CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES ALL CHILDREN UNDER 8 YEARS OF AGE TO BE TRANSPORTED IN THE REAR SEAT OF THE VEHICLE IN A CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM. THIS AGENCY IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE FOR RENTAL OF A CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM YOURSELF.”

(2) The posted notice specified in paragraph (1) is not required if the car rental agency’s place of business is located in a hotel that has a business policy prohibiting the posting of signs or notices in any area of the hotel. In that case, a car rental agency shall furnish a written notice to each customer that contains the same information as required for the posted notice.

(b) Every car rental agency in California shall have available for, and shall, upon request, provide for rental to, adults traveling with children under eight years of age, child passenger restraint systems that are certified by the manufacturer to meet applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards for use by children, are in good and safe condition, with no missing original parts, and are not older than five years.

(c) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100).

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 474, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2012.)

27366.
  

(a) The department shall do the following:

(1) Prepare and disseminate materials for the purpose of educating the public about the importance of using passenger restraints for infants and children under 15 years of age. These materials shall include, but are not limited to, audiovisual aids and written materials that explain the effects of motor vehicle accidents on infants and children and the reduction in risk of injury or death as a result of the utilization of passenger restraints for infants and children.

(2) As funding is available, produce and administer a billboard campaign stressing the importance of utilizing child passenger restraint systems and instructing the public on where to obtain those systems.

(b) The department, the Office of Traffic Safety, and the State Department of Health Services shall meet annually to coordinate, share information about, and outline the programs that each organization is pursuing in the area of child passenger restraint systems.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 512, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 1996.)

27368.
  

This article applies to child passengers in a fully enclosed three-wheeled motor vehicle that is not less than seven feet in length and not less than four feet in width, and has an unladen weight of 900 pounds or more.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 710, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1998.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH