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Restraint systems - 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4581

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                               SUBCHAPTER E
                        CHILD PASSENGER PROTECTION

     Sec.
     4581.  Restraint systems.
     4582.  Child Passenger Restraint Fund.
     4583.  Hospital information program.
     4584.  Oral hazard warning (Deleted by amendment).
     4585.  Use of information or evidence of violation of subchapter.
     4586.  Civil immunity for child passenger safety technicians
            and lenders of child passenger restraint systems and
            booster seats.

        Enactment.  Subchapter E was added November 1, 1983, P.L.195,
     No.53, effective immediately, unless otherwise noted.
        Special Provisions in Appendix.  See the preamble of Act 53
     of 1983 in the appendix to this title for information relating
     to legislative intent.
     § 4581.  Restraint systems.
        (a)  Occupant protection.--
            (1)  Any person who is operating a passenger car, Class I
        truck, Class II truck, classic motor vehicle, antique motor
        vehicle or motor home and who transports a child under four
        years of age anywhere in the motor vehicle, including the
        cargo area, shall fasten such child securely in a child
        passenger restraint system, as defined in subsection (d).
        This subsection shall apply to all persons while they are
        operators of motor vehicles where a seating position is
        available which is equipped with a seat safety belt or other
        means to secure the systems or where the seating position was
        originally equipped with seat safety belts.
            (1.1)  Any person who is operating a passenger car, Class
        I truck, Class II truck, classic motor vehicle, antique motor
        vehicle or motor home and who transports a child four years
        of age or older but under eight years of age anywhere in the
        motor vehicle, including the cargo area, shall fasten such
        child securely in a fastened safety seat belt system and in
        an appropriately fitting child booster seat, as defined in
        subsection (d). This paragraph shall apply to all persons
        while they are operators of motor vehicles where a seating
        position is available which is equipped with a seat safety
        belt or other means to secure the systems or where the
        seating position was originally equipped with seat safety
        belts. A conviction under this paragraph by State or local
        law enforcement agencies shall occur only as a secondary
        action when a driver of a motor vehicle has been convicted of
        violating any other provision of this title.
            (2)  Except for children under eight years of age and
        except as provided in paragraphs (1) and (1.1), each driver
        and front seat occupant of a passenger car, Class I truck,
        Class II truck or motor home operated in this Commonwealth
        shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety seat belt
        system. A conviction under this paragraph by State or local
        law enforcement agencies shall occur only as a secondary
        action when a driver of a motor vehicle has been convicted of
        any other provision of this title. The driver of a passenger
        automobile shall secure or cause to be secured in a properly
        adjusted and fastened safety seat belt system any occupant
        who is eight years of age or older and less than 18 years of
        age. This paragraph shall not apply to:
                (i)  A driver or front seat occupant of any vehicle
            manufactured before July 1, 1966.
                (ii)  A driver or front seat occupant who possesses a
            written verification from a physician that he is unable
            to wear a safety seat belt system for physical or medical
            reasons, or from a psychiatrist or other specialist
            qualified to make an informed judgment that he is unable
            to wear a safety seat belt system for psychological
            reasons.
                (iii)  A rural letter carrier while operating any
            motor vehicle during the performance of his duties as a
            United States postal service rural letter carrier only
            between the first and last delivery points.
                (iv)  A driver who makes frequent stops and is
            traveling less than 15 miles per hour for the purpose of
            delivering goods or services while in the performance of
            his duties and only between the first and last delivery
            points.
        A violation of this paragraph shall not be subject to the
        assessment of any points under section 1535 (relating to
        schedule of convictions and points).
            (3)  A driver who is under 18 years of age may not
        operate a motor vehicle in which the number of passengers
        exceeds the number of available safety seat belts in the
        vehicle.
        (b)  Offense.--Anyone who fails to comply with the provisions
     of subsection (a)(1) or (1.1) shall be guilty of a summary
     offense with a maximum fine of $100. The court imposing and
     collecting any such fines shall transfer the fines thus
     collected to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Child
     Passenger Restraint Fund, pursuant to section 4582 (relating to
     Child Passenger Restraint Fund). Anyone who violates subsection
     (a)(2) or (3) commits a summary offense and shall, upon
     conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $10. No person shall
     be convicted of a violation of subsection (a)(2) unless the
     person is also convicted of another violation of this title
     which occurred at the same time. No costs as described in 42
     Pa.C.S. § 1725.1 (relating to costs) shall be imposed for
     summary conviction of subsection (a)(2) or (3). Conviction under
     this subsection shall not constitute a moving violation.
        (c)  Waiver of fine.--If a person receives a citation issued
     by the proper authority for violation of subsection (a)(1) or
     (1.1), a magisterial district judge, magistrate or judge shall
     dismiss the charges if the person prior to or at the person's
     hearing displays evidence of acquisition of a child passenger
     restraint system or child booster seat to such magisterial
     district judge, magistrate or judge. Sufficient evidence shall
     include a receipt mailed to the appropriate court officer which
     evidences purchase, rental, transferal from another child seat
     owner (evidenced by notarized letter) or bailment from a bona
     fide loaner program of a child passenger restraint system or
     child booster seat.
        (d)  Standards.--
            (1)  A child passenger restraint system shall be used as
        designated by the manufacturer of the system in motor
        vehicles equipped with seat safety belts and shall meet the
        Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (49 C.F.R. § 571.213).
            (2)  A child booster seat shall be used as designated by
        the manufacturer of the system in motor vehicles equipped
        with seat safety belts and shall meet the Federal Motor
        Vehicle Safety Standard (49 CFR § 571.213) that is designed
        to elevate a child to properly sit in a federally approved
        safety seat belt system.
        (e)  Civil actions.--In no event shall a violation or alleged
     violation of this subchapter be used as evidence in a trial of
     any civil action; nor shall any jury in a civil action be
     instructed that any conduct did constitute or could be
     interpreted by them to constitute a violation of this
     subchapter; nor shall failure to use a child passenger restraint
     system, child booster seat or safety seat belt system be
     considered as contributory negligence nor shall failure to use
     such a system be admissible as evidence in the trial of any
     civil action; nor shall this subchapter impose any legal
     obligation upon or impute any civil liability whatsoever to an
     owner, employer, manufacturer, dealer or person engaged in the
     business of renting or leasing vehicles to the public to equip a
     vehicle with a child passenger restraint system or child booster
     seat or to have such child passenger restraint system or child
     booster seat available whenever their vehicle may be used to
     transport a child.
        (f)  Criminal proceedings.--The requirements of this
     subchapter or evidence of a violation of this subchapter are not
     admissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding except in a
     proceeding for a violation of this subchapter. No criminal
     proceeding for the crime of homicide by vehicle shall be brought
     on the basis of noncompliance with this subchapter.
        (g)  Exemptions.--Exemptions will be allowed if it is
     determined, according to the rules and regulations of the
     department, that the use of a child passenger restraint system
     or child booster seat would be impractical for physical reasons
     including, but not limited to, medical reasons or size of the
     child.
        (h)  Insurance.--An insurer may not charge an insured who has
     been convicted of a violation of this section a higher premium
     for a policy of insurance in whole or in part by reason of that
     conviction.
     (Nov. 23, 1987, P.L.399, No.82, eff. imd.; June 22, 1993,
     P.L.101, No.22, eff. 60 days; June 25, 1999, P.L.164, No.23;
     Dec. 23, 2002, P.L.1982, No.229, eff. 60 days; Nov. 30, 2004,
     P.L.1618, No.207, eff. 60 days)

        2004 Amendment.  Act 207 amended subsec. (c). See sections 28
     and 29 of Act 207 in the appendix to this title for special
     provisions relating to applicability and construction of law.
        2002 Amendment.  See section 21 of Act 229 in the appendix to
     this title for special provisions relating to promulgation of
     guidelines to implement Act 229.
        1987 Amendment.  See sections 8, 9 and 10 of Act 82 in the
     appendix to this title for special provisions relating to
     compatibility with Federal safety standards, seat belt
     educational program and seat belt oral hazard warnings.
        Cross References.  Section 4581 is referred to in sections
     4582, 4586 of this title.
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Last modified: November 27, 2007