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Ohio's Child Restraint Law

ORC 4511.81

                                                                               Children who are in either or both categories                                                                                                                                                                                     Less than 4 years of age

                                                                                               Less than 40 pounds


Primary Enforcement - Child Restraint Violation

Children must be in properly used child restraints, in accordance with manufacturers' instructions.


(A) (1) - if child is younger than 4

(A) (2) - if child weights less than 40 pounds

4511.81(B) - if a child is in a day care or pre-school vehicle

(B) (1) -if a child is younger than 4

(B) (2) -if a child weighs less than 40 pounds


Children less than 8 years of age, unless they have reached 4'9" in height


Secondary  Enforcement - Booster Seat Violation

4511.81 (C) Unless required by division (A) or (B) to be secured in child restraints, children must be properly secured in accordance with manufacturers' instructionsin booster seats that meet federal motor vehicle safety standards.

  • Regulated day care vehicles are exempted

  • 6 month warning period commences 10/7/2009

  • Enforcement commences 4/7/2010


Children who are 8 - 15 years of age (or younger children who are at least 4'9" tall)

Secondarv Enforcement - Seat Belt Violation

4511.81 (D) Children must be properly restrained in accordance with manufacturers' instructions in child restraints, booster seats, or seat belts. *Regardless of front or back seat occupancy.


All of the above sections have the following exceptions:

  • Taxicabs

  • Public Safety Vehicles

  • Vehicles not equipped with seat belts at the time of manufacture

  • Chiropractor or physician affidavit of exemption

  • Life-threatening emergencies


All of the above sections require the driver to be ticketed, not the child.


All of the above sections are MM on a first offense with a minimum fine of $25 and a maximum

fine of $75. Second offenses are M4 which have fines to $250 and jail time of 30 days.


If more than one child is not restrained at the time of the stop, only one citation can be issued. Include all applicable subsections.

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