Maryland Transportation Code Annotated § 22-412.2 (2005)

§ 22-412.2. Child Safety Seats

(a) Definitions. -

  1. In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
    1. "Child safety seat" means a device, including a child booster seat, that the manufacturer:
      1. Certifies is manufactured in accordance with applicable federal safety standards; and
      2. Intends to be used to restrain, seat, or position a child who is transported in a motor vehicle.
    2. "Child safety seat" does not mean a seat belt or combination seat belt-shoulder harness used alone.
    1. "Seat belt" means a restraining device described under § 22-412 of this subtitle.
    2. "Seat belt" includes a combination seat belt-shoulder harness.

(b) Accordance with directions of manufacturer required. - A child safety seat meets the requirements of this section only if it is installed and used in accordance with the directions of the manufacturer.

(c) Application to vehicles. - This section applies to the transportation of a child in a vehicle registered, or of a type capable of being registered, in this State as a:

  1. Class A (passenger) vehicle;
  2. Class E (truck) with a manufacturer's rated capacity of 3/4 ton or less, the gross vehicle weight of which does not exceed 7,000 pounds; or
  3. Class M (multipurpose) vehicle.

(d) Child under age of 6 or weighing 40 pounds or less. - A person transporting a child in a motor vehicle registered in the State shall secure the child in a child safety seat in accordance with the child safety seat and vehicle manufacturers' instructions if the child:

  1. Is under the age of 6 years, regardless of the child's weight; or
  2. Weighs 40 pounds or less, regardless of the child's age.

(d-1) Child under age of 4 or weighing 40 pounds or less. - A person transporting a child in a motor vehicle registered in another state, in the District of Columbia, or in another country, shall secure the child in a child safety seat in accordance with the child safety seat and vehicle manufacturers' instructions if the child:

  1. Is under the age of 4 years, regardless of the child's weight; or
  2. Weighs 40 pounds or less, regardless of the child's age.

(e) Child weighing more than 40 pounds and less than age of 16. - A person may not transport a child under the age of 16 years unless the child is secured in:

  1. A child safety seat in accordance with the child safety seat and vehicle manufacturers' instructions; or
  2. A seat belt.

(f) Medical exception. -- If a physician, who is licensed to practice medicine in the state in which the vehicle transporting the child is registered, certifies in writing that use of a child safety seat by a particular child would be impractical due to the child's weight, physical unfitness, or other medical reason, there is not a violation of this section.

(g) Individual use. -- A child safety seat or seat belt may not be used to restrain, seat, or position more than 1 individual at a time.

(h) Securing locations. - If the number of children subject to the provisions of this section exceeds the number of passenger securing locations suitable for securing a child either in a seat belt or in a child safety seat in accordance with this section, and all of those securing locations are in use by children, there is not a violation of this section.

(i) Effect of violations. - A violation of this section is not contributory negligence and may not be admitted as evidence in the trial of any civil action.

(j) Moving violation. -- A violation of this section is not considered a moving violation for purposes of § 16-402 of this article.

(k) Separate violation. -- The failure to provide a child safety seat or seat belt for more than 1 child in the same vehicle at the same time, as required by this section, shall be treated as a single violation.

(l) Fine; waiver. --

  1. Any person convicted of a violation of this section is subject to a fine of $ 25.
  2. A judge may waive the fine if the person charged with violation of this section:
    1. Did not possess a child safety seat at the time of the violation;
    2. Acquires a child safety seat prior to the hearing date; and
    3. Provides proof of acquisition to the court.

(m) Implementation; compliance. -- The Department of Transportation and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shall jointly implement the Child Safety Seat Program and foster compliance with this section through educational and promotional efforts.

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