Child Restraint ("Booster Seat") Law (Public Act 43 of 2008)
Michigan's child booster seat law requires children to be properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. Children must ride in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first.
The child restraint system may be either a child seat with harness straps or a booster seat (no-back or high-back), depending on the child's weight. It must be used in accordance with the child restraint manufacturer's and vehicle manufacturer's instructions and applicable federal standards.
An operator of a motor vehicle transporting a child who is found responsible for not placing the child in a child restraint can be fined $25 for a civil infraction.
The child restraint requirement does not apply to passengers of a school bus or those in other motor vehicles not required to be equipped with safety belts under federal law.
The law was amended to require child restraints because of serious injuries that can result when a child is too small to wear a seatbelt properly. When a child's lap belt is worn on the abdomen rather than the pelvis, or when a shoulder strap is worn across the neck rather than the shoulder and ribcage, severe bodily injuries can result if an accident occurs.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2003, children between the ages of 4 and 7 who use child restraint systems are 59 percent less likely to be injured than children secured by seatbelts alone.