Legal regulations for child car seats

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The law prescribes how and up to what age children must be secured in the car when traveling with them. Here you can read what you should pay attention to and the consequences of disregarding it.

In this article

How can children ride in the car??

Up to a size of 150 cm and an age of 12 years need children be secured by a suitable child seat when driving in the car. Larger children must also be secured so that the three-point belt fits and secures just as it does with adults. The respective booster seat must have belt hooks in order to prevent the abdominal belt from slipping up in the event of an accident. Child seats of all weight groups must always fit the weight and size of the child, be mounted on the intended seat and be approved for the car. Everything about age and weight classes for child seats can be found here.

When can a child ride without a child seat??

If you are wondering when you can do without a child seat, the following rule applies: As soon as your child meets one of the two requirements – is either over 12 years old or over 150 cm tall -, a child seat is no longer required. Of course, as a parent you decide when you want to take your child without a seat. For example, you could decide against it if your child is already over 12 years old, but the seat belt is still not optimal because your child is still too small.

The test seal on the child seat

When buying a child seat, parents always have to observe the orange test seal, which can usually be found on the side of the seat. Because everyone Child seat must be officially approved. With this in mind, the test seal provides sufficient information, such as information on the weight class, the test standard and admissibility. You can find more detailed information on the inspection sticker in our article "The child seat test seal".

The i-size regulation for child car seats

Parallel to the ECE regulation 44, according to which a child seat must be built in order to be approved Europe-wide, an alternative test standard called ECE-R 129, also known as i-Size, has been running since August 2013. The i-Size control is intended for child seats with an ISOFIX base and is intended to ensure greater safety when transporting the child. The directive requires that children up to the age of 15 months against the direction of travel secured Need to become.

In addition, this regulation provides that the Child seat also not from a baby’s body weight of nine kg in the direction of travel may be placed. The reason for these regulations was that babies were strapped into the child seat too often in the direction of travel. You can find more detailed information on the test standard ECE-R 129 in the article “What is i Size?”.

Airbag marking

If your car has a passenger airbag, this must be identified by a warning sticker. If this is not the case, there is a risk of a warning fee that is € 5 if the sticker is missing. If you install a rear-facing child seat despite "sharp" airbags, you must expect a warning fee of € 25. In the event of damage, a violation can lead to a reduction in the damage claim.

The airbag can be switched off manually in many cars. However, it should first be read in the vehicle manual whether and how to switch off the front passenger airbag. There it is also noted whether a child seat on the front passenger seat is not permitted in principle. In any case, the switched off airbag should be checked again before each trip to avoid possible dangers for your child in the child seat.

Fines and points for security breaches

Anyone who has only secured a child in the car with the adult belt must expect a warning fee of 30 euros, for several children even 35 euros. If children completely unsecured will be promoted Fine of 60 euros one child and a fine of 70 euros for several children, and in both cases a point in Flensburg. In addition, 30 euros will be due if the child seat used was not built according to the current test standard ECE-R 44/04 or ECE-R 44/03 and is not permitted, is therefore outdated, and if your child actually needed a child seat, but without a seat and only goes with a seat belt.


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Christina Cherry
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