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Car Seat Laws in Maine--This Might Surprise You!

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Whether you're visiting Wells, Ogunquit, or York on a beach vacation with your kids, or if you're just passing through, you will want to know Maine's fairly strict laws regarding car seats, booster seats, and kids riding in the front seat.  Besides the obvious matter of child safety, the fines for failing to observe these laws are steep and will take a chunk out of your vacation budget! The text below was copied from the York, Maine, Police Department's Facebook page.  

Ciao Baby rents all highest-quality Britax car seats (rear-facing, convertible carseats, and high-back booster seats) that are all brand new in 2012. Let us know if you're either in town or coming to town and we'll deliver a carseat rental your way!

From the York, Maine, Police Department's Facebook page:

Everyone should know by now that everyone needs to be “properly” secured in a seatbelt. That means the shoulder strap must go over your shoulder. If the strap is behind your back or under your arm you are not “properly” secured in a seatbelt and can be fined. Other questions we are asked is about children and when can they ride in the front seat and when can they be out of a booster seat.
When can my child ride in the front seat? 

Age 12 or 100 pounds (whichever comes first): 
This means if you have an 11 year old who weighs 100lbs. that child can sit in the front seat. It also means that if you have 12 years old who weighs 90lbs. that child can sit in the front seat.
When can my child come OUT of a booster seat? 

Age 8 or 80 pounds (whichever comes first):
This means that if you have a child who is 6 years old and weighs 85 lbs, that child can legally be out of a booster seat and just be secured in a seatbelt. This also means a child who is 8 years old and weight 65lbs. can legally be out of a booster seat due to the fact the child is 8 years old. 
Maine’s law also has a stipulation that is a passenger is “less than 18 years of age and more than 4 feet, 9 inches in height is properly secured in a seat belt”. So height is a consideration as well and one can look at it by saying that if age 8, 80 pounds or 4’ 9” is met, the child only needs to be secured by a seat belt. However, the key word here is PROPERLY so the child still must fit the seat belt appropriately.

While our law is good, children don’t fit the adult seat belt system until they are between the ages of 8 and 12. Just because a child may legally ride in the front seat or be out of a booster seat doesn’t mean it’s the safest practice for a parent to take. The best and safest practice is to keep your children in the back seat and or booster seats until the required weight is met on the seat you have. Each child safety seat is different and you will have to check your seat for the weight limit. Please refer to the vehicle / child seat manuals for proper use.

Fines:
Passenger > or = 18 years old not properly secured in seatbelt: 
$70.00 (1st offense) 
$160.00 (2nd offense) 
$310.00 (3rd offense and up)

(if you are a passenger who is 18 years or older you receive the fine, if your passengers are younger than 18 the driver is responsible and will receive the fine.)

All other fines involving passengers and children under the age of 18 years of age start out at $70.00 and go up to $360.00.


Ciao Baby Equipment Rentals is based in Portsmouth, NH, and delivers top-quality child rental gear (incl. full-size rental cribs, rental strollers, rental high chairs, rental carseats, etc.) to guests visiting hotels, motels, vacation rental properties and private residences in Wells, Ogunquit, York and Kittery, Maine; and Portsmouth, Rye, North Hampton, Hampton, and Seabrook, NH.  Now also serving the NH Lakes Region and the North Conway area!