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Child Restraint Seats

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The California Vehicle Code has changed in regards to children and the way that they are to be restrained in a motor vehicle. The following is an overview of the sections regarding children.

California Vehicle Restraint Laws Regarding Infants And Children

27360(a) C.V.C. - Cite parent / guardian for each child who is not properly restrained in the rear seat unless the child is six years or older or weighs 60 pounds or more.

27360(b) C.V.C. - Cite driver only if parent is not present.


  1. Court sanctioned exemption, medical condition, physical unfitness or size
  2. Life-threatening emergency or transported in authorized emergency vehicle.
  3. Child over 40 pounds in rear seat of a vehicle with lap belts only.

As of January 1, 2005, each child is required to be properly restrained in the back seat unless child is six years or older or weighs 60 pounds or more.

Exemptions: 27360(c) C.V.C. - A child or ward under the age of six years who weighs less then 60 pounds may ride in the front seat of a motor vehicle, if properly secured in a Child Passenger Restraint System (CPRS) that meets applicable federal motor vehicle safely standards, under the following circumstances.

  1. There is no rear seat
  2. The rear seats are side-facing jump seats.
  3. The rear seats are rear-facing seats
  4. The Child Passenger Restraint System cannot be installed properly in the rear seat.
  5. All rear seats are already occupied by children under the age of 12 years.
  6. Medical reasons necessitate that the child or ward not ride in the rear seat. The court may require satisfactory proof of the child's medical condition.

A child may NOT ride in the front seat with an active passenger airbag if:

  1. Under one year of age.
  2. Weighs less than 20 pounds.
  3. Riding in a rear-facing Child Passenger Restraint System

The Palm Desert Police Department is committed to keeping children safe while in a motor vehicle. Please keep in mind that motorist in violation of any of these codes will be cited.