Under provision of the State's child restraint law, children through age 14 must be restrained when riding in motor vehicles. The law applies to passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans (with seating capacity of 10 or fewer), minivans, crossovers, and sport utility vehicles.
The child restraint law, §32-5-222, was amended during the 2006 regular session of the Alabama Legislature to specify appropriate restraint systems by child age and weight. The law also provides that violators will have points assessed against their driver record, in addition to incurring a fine of $25.
The law requires the following size-appropriate restraint systems:
- Infant-only seats and convertible seats used in the rear-facing position for infants until at least 1 year of age or 20 pounds
- Convertible seats in the forward position or forward-facing seats until the child is at least 5 years of age or 40 pounds.
- Booster seats until the child is six years of age.
- Seat belts until the child is 15 years of age. Alabama's seat belt law, §32-5B-4, requires that all front-seat occupants, regardless of age, be restrained. Alabama's old child restraint law required an "appropriate child restraint system" for children age five and younger riding in motor vehicles registered in Alabama, with seat belts allowed beginning at age four. The old law also excluded trucks and buses with a tonnage rating of one ton or more.