California Vehicle Code 27360.5 VC requires automobile drivers to ensure that their child passengers ages eight to 15 have seat belts on. But if the child’s parents or guardians are passengers in the car, the responsibility falls on them – and not the driver – to ensure the children are strapped in.
The full text of the statute reads as follows:
27360.5 VC (a) A parent, legal guardian, or driver shall not transport on a highway in a motor vehicle, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 27315, a child or ward who is eight years of age or older, but less than 16 years of age, without properly securing that child or ward in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a driver if the parent or legal guardian of the child is also present in the motor vehicle and is not the driver.
California Vehicle Code 27360.5 VC prohibits drivers from transporting children ages eight through 15 without being strapped in with a seat belt. However, drivers are not responsible for making sure their child passengers have seat belts if the children’s parents or legal guardians are also passengers in the car.1
Failing to properly secure child passengers is a California infraction. A first-time offense carries a $100 fine. And second or subsequent offenses carry $250 fines. Courts also impose additional fees and penalty assessments.2
Finally, violating 27360.5 VC will cause one point to be added to the defendant’s driving record. Motorists who accumulate too many points in a one-, two-, or three-year period risk being labeled a negligent operator and having their driver’s license suspended. But drivers can contest this suspension at a California DMV hearing.
- California Vehicle Code 27360.5 VC – Use of child passenger restraint system for child between 8 and 16. See also In re Ethan C. (Cal. App. 2d Dist. Sept. 24, 2010), 188 Cal. App. 4th 992, 115 Cal. Rptr. 3d 847.
- 27360.6 VC.
- 12810 VC. See also People v. Mutuma (Cal. App. 5th Dist. Nov. 1, 2006), 144 Cal. App. 4th 635, 50 Cal. Rptr. 3d 547.