Updated: December 8, 2023
A new law is now effect, that raises the age through which a child must use a child passenger restraint or booster seat to 10 years old.
If the child is seven years of age or older but less than 10 years of age, the person operating the motor vehicle shall be exempt from restraining the child in a child passenger restraint system with harness or booster seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards at the time of manufacture if the child is correctly restrained by a lap and shoulder seat belt assembly; provided that the child is over four feet and nine inches in height.
Act 122 also raises the fines for certain violations, and requires rear facing child safety seats for children less than two years of age.
“Unrestrained children are three times more likely to be injured in a crash,” said Gov. David Ige. “Even one injured keiki is one too many. That’s why I signed Act 122. The new child passenger safety law addresses gaps in the previous statute and aligns Hawaiʻi with the latest research and national recommendations.”
The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation provided an overview of what parents and caregivers can expect under the new law.
- If the child is under two years of age, the child must be properly restrained in a rear-facing car seat with harness.
- If a child is two years or older but less than four years old, the child must be properly restrained in a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat with harness.
- All children under ten years old must be properly restrained regardless of how many seat belt assemblies are in the vehicle.
- Violators of the law will be required by the court to attend a child passenger safety class approved by the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary.
For more information on child passenger safety and for information on local child safety seat inspection sites, please visit the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition website at www.kipchawaii.org.
An electronic copy of the new law that took effect on June 27, 2022, can be found at https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2022/bills/GM1223_.PDF.