Anyone who drives in Arizona with a child as a passenger in the front seat of the automobile should be aware of the laws that apply. While some minors are allowed to ride with a safety belt, others require a child safety seat. A January, 2010, bill passed in Arizona expanding the laws regarding children who ride in the front seat of an automobile. Regardless of any laws that do, or do not exist, drivers should always take precautions when allowing a minor to ride in the front seat to protect the child.
Vehicle operators in Arizona who have a child as a passenger in the front seat are required by law to restrain the child. The type of restraint depends on the age of the child. For example, any child under the age of five in Arizona must be retrained by a child safety seat, as compared to a standard safety belt. Children who are five years of age or older may be restrained in a standard seat belt. Unlike most states, Arizona does not have a booster seat law for children who have outgrown child safety seats, but are not yet big enough to be properly secured with an adult-sized seat belt. That doesn't mean parents can't use booster seats, simply that the law doesn't require it. Any driver in Arizona who violates the laws regarding front seat child safety will be fined $50 for their first offense.
Exceptions to The Law
Under certain circumstances in Arizona, a driver may not be able to physically secure a child in the front seat, but that doesn't mean they're breaking the law. For example, under Section G(4) of the Arizona State Legislator, drivers are not required to properly secure a child in the front seat in the event of an emergency, such as racing them to the hospital. If the vehicle the driver owns, or is driving, was not originally manufactured with seat belts, children over the age of five do not need to be restrained.
On Jan. 13, 2010, the Senate Public Safety and Human Services Committee passed a bill that would require all children nine years of age or younger who were shorter than 4 feet 9 inches tall to sit in a booster seat while riding in the front seat. The purpose of Senate Bill 1010 is to protect children who cannot be properly secured with an adult-sized seat belt. The Senate Public Safety and Human Services Committee voted unanimously, 6 to 0, in support of the bill which, as of September, 2010, has yet to become law. The bill was introduced by Arizona Senator Linda Gray.