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Child Restraint Safety

Protecting the safety and well being of our children is, and has been, a priority for the State of Tennessee.  More than 30 years ago, on January 1, 1978, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to require the use of safety seats for child passengers. 

Since pioneering the nation’s child safety seat laws, Tennessee has continued to strengthen laws regarding the use of child restraint devices understanding that occupant protection laws and the enforcement of those laws are critical components to saving lives. 

Today, Tennessee State Law requires the use of child restraint devices to protect child passengers. 

Nationwide, nearly 1.5 million children are passengers in vehicle crashes each year and car crashes are the number one killer of children ages 2 to 14.  Studies show child safety seats reduce the likelihood of infants (under one year old) being killed in a vehicle crash by 71 percent and toddlers (one to four years old) by 54 percent. 

The intent of the Tennessee’s child restraint law is to protect every child in every seating position in a motor vehicle.   THP Troopers have seen far too many deadly crashes where a child was not buckled up or was improperly restrained.  That’s why the agency is committed to this issue, and to enforcing all occupant protection laws.  Failure to properly restrain a child is a primary offense – one the THP takes very seriously. 

For more information visit our Tennessee Child Restraint Law page.

NTSB Child Passenger Safety