Can he really be allowed to..........................

@camomom (7535)
United States
June 12, 2009 12:41pm CST
Camodad and I both thought the law in Pennsylvania was that no child under 12 years of age was allowed in the front seat of a vehicle. His grandmother and uncle on his bio-mom's side let him ride in the front seat. We don't agree with it. It isn't safe for such a small child to be in the front seat, especially if there are air bags. I looked online at our DMV's website and I don't understand a word of the "laws" listed there. It's like reading an alien language of symbols. Does anyone know how old you have to be to ride in the front seat of a car in Pennsylvania and where I can find it in writing that makes sense? HELP PLEASE.
3 people like this
6 responses
@Maggiepie (7816)
• United States
12 Jun 09
I don't know about PA, but there might be a height rule, or they might have the airbag turned off. The airbag is the danger for small children to ride in the front seat. Now, I've seen 12 yr olds who are taller than I am, and I've seen 16 yr olds that are only about 4 feet tall. If the child is a tall child, or the air bag is turned off, there may be no rule against it.
1 person likes this
@camomom (7535)
• United States
12 Jun 09
So confusing. I wish the laws were just plainly written so we could all understand it. He's 8 years old, maybe 45 lbs and maybe 4ft 5in. I don't know if they even have airbags but still, I don't agree with him being in the front seat.
1 person likes this
@tosha33 (265)
• United States
12 Jun 09
If a car is equipped with an airbag it is against the law to disconnect it. Many people do not realize this.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
13 Jun 09
It is not against the law to disable a front passenger airbag. Cars manufactured in the last few years include options to disable the passenger airbag - likely to increase safety/options for people who may have only 4 seats (in the car) and four small children. Not everybody with three or more children wants to drive a minivan or an SUV. While it may be against the law to purposely BREAK your airbag, if there is a legitimate reason for it to be disabled, it will probably be accepted.
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12160)
• United States
12 Jun 09
The plainest English I found says Drivers are responsible for themselves and to secure all children from 8 years of age up to 18 years of age in a seat belt system any where in the vehicle. I looked further & found http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_age_child_can_ride_in_car_seat_in_front_seat_in_PA This seems to contradict what the above says. I always thought it was determined by the height & weight of the person. My Mom was only 5'2" & it was recommended that she NOT ride in the front seat because the air bag would smack her direct in the face. According to these 2 items, they did nothing wrong. However, as my Dad always told me As long as you're living under my roof, you will abide by my rules & my rules state...(whatever he felt like saying). So, if you don't want him riding in the front seat, he wouldn't be riding in the front seat if he lived in my home!!! You're the Mom & it's your car!!! Hope this helped!!!
@camomom (7535)
• United States
12 Jun 09
Thanks. The problem is he only lives here every other week. We only have say when he's here. It sucks. I really hope that his idiot uncle at least drives safer with him in the car. I still don't like him being in the front and he will NOT be in the front in my vehicle until he is MUCH older. Thank you so much for the link also.
@camomom (7535)
• United States
12 Jun 09
This is what I've found so far: SEAT BELT LAW In accordance with Section 4581 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, it is a law in Pennsylvania that: • All drivers and front seat passengers in vehicles, light trucks and motor homes must wear seat belts. [b]• If you are transporting passengers age eight (8) or older but less than age 18, they must wear seat belts, no matter where they are riding in the vehicle.[/b] • If you are a driver under the age of 18, the number of passengers may not exceed the number of seat belts in the vehicle.
@camomom (7535)
• United States
12 Jun 09
More: CHILD PASSENGER PROTECTION ACT 229 REQUIRES: • Children under the age of four (4) must be buckled into a federally-approved child passenger restraint system (child safety seat) which must be secured to the vehicle by the seat belt system (or using the vehicle’s LATCH system, available in newer vehicles), no matter where they ride in the vehicle (front or back seat). • Children ages four (4) and older, but under the age of eight (8) must be buckled into a federally-approved child booster seat, which must be secured to the vehicle by the seat belt system, no matter where they ride in a vehicle (front or back seat). Booster seats must be used in conjunction with lap and shoulder belts. [b]• Children ages eight (8) and older, but under age 18 must be buckled in a seat belt, no matter where they ride in the vehicle (front or back seat).[/b] • Drivers are responsible for securing children into an approved child passenger restraint system and ensuring children under age 18 are buckled up. VIOLATORS MAY BE FINED AND WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL COURT COSTS.
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
12 Jun 09
From what I read a child from 8 to 18 can set any where in the car. This is waht is on the web site. Drivers are responsible for themselves and to secure all children from 8 years of age up to 18 years of age in a seat belt system any where in the vehicle. Most of the 12 year olds that I know really aren't that small to be restricted to the back seat. Just how big is the 12 year old your talking about?
@camomom (7535)
• United States
12 Jun 09
Oops, I should have mentioned that. He's only 8 years old and about 40-45 pounds.
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
12 Jun 09
I was under the impression that he was 12. And at that weight he should still be in the back seat since he is pretty small. You might consider calling the police and reporting them the next time they are out driving.
@camomom (7535)
• United States
12 Jun 09
I've thought about it. Maybe I just need to call the non-emergency number and ask them what the actual law is. Thanks again.
@AmbiePam (51158)
• United States
12 Jun 09
Doesn't it just depend on the size of the child? At the age of twelve I was 5'10, so obviously it was okay for me to ride in the front seat. But I remember riding in the front seat as young as six. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought it was all about the size. From the sound of it, your son shouldn't be in the front seat because he is small, right?
@camomom (7535)
• United States
12 Jun 09
In PA, it has to do with age and weight. I know it would make more sense to go by weight and height but it doesn't. He's 8 years old, about 45lbs and about 4ft 5in tall.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (51158)
• United States
12 Jun 09
Oh heavens, he really shouldn't be in the front, you're right.
@lilybug (21145)
• United States
13 Jun 09
He is still pretty light. Height wise I think he would be ok in the front, but with as thin as he is it probably would be best if he sat in back. My son has always been pretty tall and solid, so at the age of 8 I was ok with him being in the front.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13197)
• United States
13 Jun 09
I don't believe there are laws that are explicit from state to state in reference to where you sit in a car. HOWEVER, the car manufacturers generally state 'it is SAFEST for any child 12 or under to sit in the BACK SEAT rather than a front passenger seat if there is an airbag which cannot be disabled. The manufacturer also cautions against putting any rear facing child seat in a front passenger seat UNLESS there is no rear seat and there is no airbag or it can be disabled. For instance - I have a front driver and passenger airbag. I do not and will not let my daughter, who is five and uses a booster - to sit in the front as I cannot disable the airbag and she is small. My husband though drives a two seater sports car with no airbag on the passenger side, and if she rides with him, we do put the booster in the front and she rides there. If we had a truck, we'd have to do the same thing. It just really depends what you drive and the options you have to work with. Obviously you want to be safe but there is such a thing as going overboard. I do feel that a parent would have final say over any other family member, so in your case YOUR wishes ought to be respected in regards to your son and the front seat of anybody's vehicle. My daughter has actually ridden in the front in a friend's car before too, but I made sure her airbag was disabled and the seat was scooted back.
@camomom (7535)
• United States
14 Jun 09
There are explicit laws about it state by state. I found the answer and posted it in my response above if your interested in the answer. I do agree that it depends on the vehicle and if it's a two seater or 4 seater. I also agree that it depends on whether or not there is an air bag. Unfortunately, I am NOT his birth mom so I have no say. His dad does but if he isn't here or if his real mom says it's okay, then what can I do? Nothing. Thank you for your response.
@tosha33 (265)
• United States
12 Jun 09
I think that when it comes to children riding in the front seat, i am pretty old schooled as i believe that any child under the age of 16 should always be in the back seat, I believe this to be more safe for the child since most cars have air bags that deflate at a pretty high speed of rate and with such force can easily kill an adult, let alone a child.
@camomom (7535)
• United States
12 Jun 09
I agree. I was always under 100lbs before I became a mom 3 years ago. I was always terrified of airbags. My aunt is only 4 ft something and had to fight the car company in court to remove hers because if it would come out it would have killed her. She won the case and has no airbag now. I think it should be a height and weight issue not an age issue. BUT since it is the way it is and has to do with age and weight, I'd like to know the laws. He's only 8 years old and maybe 45 lbs. I'm not sure of his height, maybe around 4ft 5in.