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  1. #1
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    South Carolina Law?

    Here is the page
    http://www.buckleupsc.com/cps/laws.htm

    Does this law allow children under 40 pounds to use a booster seat?

    Another tech and I are in disagreement about the wording of the law.

    Don't think about best practice (we are both stressing that), think about the actual wording of the law.

    At what age or at what weight can a booster seat be used LEGALLY?

    Thanks!
    "If you don't know how to fix it, please stop breaking it." Severn Suzuki, age 12

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  3. #2
    Moderator - CPS Technician BookMama's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    This is more than you asked for, but I would interpret it as -

    RF until 1 yr AND 20 lbs
    Under 6 and less than 40 lbs = harnessed seat
    Over 40 lbs and over 1 year = booster is legally OK (I assume HWH is OK too, LOL)
    6+ = no child restraint required
    Andrea, CPST, Tech proxy, special Needs trained
    DS 4/01 - Seatbelt * DD1 11/05 - Oobr, PWSGL, Performance Booster
    DD2 10/09 - GN SS/Argos
    Plus a plethora of "spare" seats for everyone.

  4. #3
    Moderator MomToEliEm's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    Does forward-facing child safety seat = harnessed seat? I didn't see that definition in the wording, but it may be defined somewhere else to mean a harnessed seat.

    From my interpretation of the wording, a 39lb child would have to be harnessed until they were 6 years old unless the child could fit properly in the seat using just a seatbelt alone ("If a child less than six years of age can sit with his back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion, with his knees bent over the vehicle's seat edge without slouching, the child may be seated in the regular back seat and secured by an adult safety belt.")
    Katy

  5. #4
    Moderator - CPS Technician BookMama's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by MomToEliEm View Post
    "If a child less than six years of age can sit with his back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion, with his knees bent over the vehicle's seat edge without slouching, the child may be seated in the regular back seat and secured by an adult safety belt."
    Gotta say that I've NEVER seen a child under 6 who could do that. But I agree with your interpretation.
    Andrea, CPST, Tech proxy, special Needs trained
    DS 4/01 - Seatbelt * DD1 11/05 - Oobr, PWSGL, Performance Booster
    DD2 10/09 - GN SS/Argos
    Plus a plethora of "spare" seats for everyone.

  6. #5
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    I am the other tech and I am basing my interpretation on Section 56-5-6410(5), which reads in part: "Any child restraint system of a type sufficient to meet the physical standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the time of its manufacture is sufficient to meet the requirements of this article."

    The law requires a forward-facing child safety seat, but does not specify a harnessed seat, and later states that any NHTSA-approved seat will meet the requirements.
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

  7. #6
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    It looked to me like "child seat" meant "harnessed seat," since they used that same term for the RF seat (which is clearly NOT a booster), and used a completely different term ("belt-positioning booster") for a booster seat.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  8. #7
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
    I am the other tech and I am basing my interpretation on Section 56-5-6410(5), which reads in part: "Any child restraint system of a type sufficient to meet the physical standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the time of its manufacture is sufficient to meet the requirements of this article."

    The law requires a forward-facing child safety seat, but does not specify a harnessed seat, and later states that any NHTSA-approved seat will meet the requirements.
    Oh, I just read the rest and now I'm not sure. The first part isn't the actual law, it's just paraphrasing? Lemme go re-read it again...

    Okay, this is the relevant part:
    A child who is at least one year of age but less than six years of age
    That would be kids ages 1-5...

    and who weighs at least twenty pounds but less than forty pounds
    Kids age 1-5 years who weigh between 20 and 39.9 lbs...

    must be secured in a forward-facing child safety seat provided in the motor vehicle which meets the standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
    Well, since NHTSA standards pass booster seats for kids under 40lbs, then I'd say yes, this law says kids under 40 can use boosters.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  9. #8
    Moderator - CPS Technician BookMama's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
    I am the other tech and I am basing my interpretation on Section 56-5-6410(5), which reads in part: "Any child restraint system of a type sufficient to meet the physical standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the time of its manufacture is sufficient to meet the requirements of this article."

    The law requires a forward-facing child safety seat, but does not specify a harnessed seat, and later states that any NHTSA-approved seat will meet the requirements.
    That interpretation would mean that a NHTSA-approved booster would be legally OK for any child over 1 and 20, wouldn't it? (Not attacking you, just saying what I think that interpretation would mean.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Defrost View Post
    It looked to me like "child seat" meant "harnessed seat," since they used that same term for the RF seat (which is clearly NOT a booster), and used a completely different term ("belt-positioning booster") for a booster seat.
    That's what I took it to mean.

    It's hard when these laws are written by people who don't speak "car seat." They just don't get all the terms and nuances right. Same thing with newspaper articles - I love all the articles I've been seeing since the new booster law passed in Michigan, but often find myself cringing at the use of the car seat terms/language.
    Andrea, CPST, Tech proxy, special Needs trained
    DS 4/01 - Seatbelt * DD1 11/05 - Oobr, PWSGL, Performance Booster
    DD2 10/09 - GN SS/Argos
    Plus a plethora of "spare" seats for everyone.

  10. #9
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    Unfortunately, yes, my interpretation would be that 1/20 could use a booster if the manufacturer did not have a higher requirement.

    I do agree that may not have been the INTENT of the lawmakers, but it is how I read what is written.
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

  11. #10
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    Okay, let's add this to the mix. NHTSA terms.

    Child Safety Seat/Child Restraint: A crash tested device that is specially designed to provide infant/child crash protection. A general term for all sorts of devices including those that are vests or car beds rather than seats.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  12. #11
    Moderator - CPS Technician BookMama's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    Hmm, is there a proper use clause? (Didn't notice it ... no time to go back and look ... ) If not, and going by the NHTSA terms that Debbie just posted, a car bed would be legal for a 3YO ... a vest legal for a 1YO ... etc. Or a booster for that 1 AND 20 child, regardless of how far over 20 they are.

    I know that's not what they mean, but technically, if there's no proper use clause ...
    Andrea, CPST, Tech proxy, special Needs trained
    DS 4/01 - Seatbelt * DD1 11/05 - Oobr, PWSGL, Performance Booster
    DD2 10/09 - GN SS/Argos
    Plus a plethora of "spare" seats for everyone.

  13. #12
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    The law requires that children under 1 be "properly secured", and "appropriate child passenger restraint system[s]" provided for all.
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

  14. #13
    Carseat Crazy groovymom2000's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    I'm in SC--I can tell you that most parents certainly interpret the law to mean that a booster can be used. Usually a backless . Most of the techs that I have had experience with have little to no hwh seat experience, although there are more of them around now, and most of the children that I see are in a backless by the age of 3, if not sooner. By 6 most are not in a seat at all, and usually not even buckled in(although their parents are, which makes me loony ).
    The Groovymom, Mom to DS v1.0 in a seatbelt and DS v2.0, in the Monterrey

  15. #14
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    If a booster was allowed under 40 pounds the law would read "child safety seat or booster".

    I still interpret the law to read that kids 20-39.9 pounds should be in a harnessed seat.
    "If you don't know how to fix it, please stop breaking it." Severn Suzuki, age 12

  16. #15
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
    I am the other tech and I am basing my interpretation on Section 56-5-6410(5), which reads in part: "Any child restraint system of a type sufficient to meet the physical standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the time of its manufacture is sufficient to meet the requirements of this article."

    The law requires a forward-facing child safety seat, but does not specify a harnessed seat, and later states that any NHTSA-approved seat will meet the requirements.

    No word on expired seats...so long as it was NHTSA-approved at the time it was created

    Raechel

  17. #16
    Carseat Crankypants carseatcoach's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    If a booster was allowed under 40 pounds the law would read "child safety seat or booster".

    I still interpret the law to read that kids 20-39.9 pounds should be in a harnessed seat.
    A booster IS a child safety seat.
    CPST and Mama to a 13yo girl, 5-stepped at age 10 and 5'

    Posted from my toaster using a PopTart

  18. #17
    CPS Technician zactayaus's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    I would have to agree with th OP. They have definetly distinguish the seats as being a "forward-facing child seat" (ie harnessed seat) and a "belt positioning booster seat". Other wise it would have read "children 1-5 years old weighing 20-40lbs must be restrained in either a forward-facing child seat or belt-positioning booster seat" which it definetly does not.

    Zack 12/20/90 Taylor 5/11/98
    Austin 4/16/03 69lbs 58" Happily riding in Incognitos!
    Gavin 4/20/09 53lbs, 47" FF in an RXT, GN, and 2 FR85's
    DN Olivia 10/2/14 riding in an SR35

  19. #18
    Moderator - CPS Technician BookMama's Avatar
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    Re: South Carolina Law?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    If a booster was allowed under 40 pounds the law would read "child safety seat or booster".

    I still interpret the law to read that kids 20-39.9 pounds should be in a harnessed seat.
    I agree that that is the intent of the law. As for technicalities based on what they've actually written, well, I don't know. It's hard to interpret, really. But I'd interpret it the way I said in my first post.
    Andrea, CPST, Tech proxy, special Needs trained
    DS 4/01 - Seatbelt * DD1 11/05 - Oobr, PWSGL, Performance Booster
    DD2 10/09 - GN SS/Argos
    Plus a plethora of "spare" seats for everyone.

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