Table 1

Summary of past and present child passenger safety laws: seating position and restraint requirements

CountryCityYearsAge limit (years)Allowed in front seat?Restraint use required in rear seat?
Notes: By restrained all countries (except where indicated) mean: if child <3, child restraint; if child 3–12, booster or seat belt; if >12, seat belt.
*Except if there are no rear seats or all rear seats are occupied with other children.
†Except if number of passengers exceeds number of seats; riding in taxis; passengers with a handicap or medical exception.
‡Except if no rear seat is available, all rear seats are occupied by children or rear seats are unusable.
§Except if number of passenger exceeds the number of seats.
¶Type of restraint was not specified, but seat belts were sufficient for all ages. Seat belts or child restraints acceptable for children <6.
¶Except if the child rides in a vehicle manufactured before 1966 or the child is unable to use a child restraint.
**If the number of children in the vehicle is greater than the number of seat belts or restraining systems available, the unrestrained children must sit in the rear.
GermanyFrankfurt1975–88<12No*No
1988–93<12Yes. Restrained*No
1994–<12 and <150 cmYes. RestrainedYes†
BelgiumBrussels1975–96<12NoNo
1996–≤12Yes. Restrained‡Yes§
FranceParis1975–91<10NoNo
1992–≤10Yes. Restrained‡Yes†
USABoston, MA<1997<12Yes†¶Yes†¶
April 1997–No age limitYes¶. RestrainedYes¶
New Orleans, LA1984–96≤5Yes. RestrainedYes**
>5Yes. RestrainedNo
1996–<13Yes. RestrainedYes**