Sec. 25-147.1. Child restraint devices required.
(a) Any person who drives on the public streets, highways, alleys, or other rights-of-way within the city, any motor vehicle manufactured after January 1, 1968, shall ensure that any child under the age of four (4) (i) of which he is the parent or legal guardian or (ii) which he regularly transports therein is provided with and properly secured in a child restraint device of a type which meets the standards adopted by the United States Department of Transportation.
(b) Whenever any physician licensed to practice medicine in the commonwealth of Virginia or any other state determines, through accepted medical procedures, that the use of a child restraint system by a particular child would be impractical by reason of the child's weight, physical unfitness, or other medical reason, the child shall be exempt from the provision of this section. Any person transporting a child so exempted shall carrying on his or her person or in the vehicle a signed written statement of the physician identifying the child so exempted and stating the grounds therefor.
(c) This section shall not apply to:
(1) the transporting of any child in a vehicle having an interior design which makes the use of a child restraint device impractical; or
(2) the transporting of children by public transportation, bus, school bus, or farm vehicle. For purposes of this section, "farm vehicle" means a vehicle which is either (i) exempt from registration pursuant to Title 46.2 of the Code of Virginia or (ii) registered as a farm vehicle pursuant to Title 46.2 of the Code of Virginia, or (iii) owned by a resident of another state under whose laws the vehicle is either registered as a farm vehicle or exempt from registration by virtue of its use as a farm vehicle.
(d) The use of a seat belt of the type which is the standard equipment in new automobiles sold in the commonwealth of Virginia shall not violate this article if (i) the affected child is between three (3) and four (4) years old and (ii) the weight and size of the child is such as to make the use of such seat belt practical and the use of an approved child restraint impractical.
(e) Any person, including those subject to jurisdiction of a juvenile and domestic relations district court, found guilty of violating this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00) for a violation of paragraph (a) or a civil penalty of twenty dollars ($20.00) for failure to carry a statement as required by paragraph (b). The court may waiver or suspend the imposition of the penalty for violation of paragraph (a) if it finds that the failure of the defendant to comply was due to his financial inability to acquire a child restraint system. All civil penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be paid into the general fund of the city.
(f) Violations of this section shall not constitute negligence per se; nor shall violation of this section constitute a defense to any claim for personal injuries to a child or recovery of medical expenses for injuries sustained in any motor vehicle accident. (Ord. No. O-93-301, 11-23-93)
Last updated date: 10/23/2006 4:15:21 PM