Nova Scotia Car Seat Laws
- Infants must ride in a rear facing car seat until they are at least one year old AND weigh at least 10 kg (22 lbs).
- Children are required to remain in an appropriate forward facing car seat until they reach a weight of at least 18 kg (40 lbs).
- After reaching 18 kg, children in Nova Scotia can move from a car seat to a booster seat. All children must remain in appropriate booster seat until they are at least 9 years old OR at least 4 feet 9 inches in height.
- Children over the age of 9 can wear an adult seatbelt and are no longer required to use a restraint system designed for children
Each province and territory in Canada establishes its own laws with regard to car seats, booster seats and other related issues. Below is some basic information about car seat laws in the province of Nova Scotia.
Car Seat Law
In Nova Scotia, children must ride in a rear facing car seat until they are at least one year old AND weigh at least 10 kg (22 lbs). Once a child has reached these milestones, he or she may ride in a forward facing car seat. Children are required to remain in an appropriate forward facing car seat until they reach a weight of at least 18 kg (40 lbs).
Booster Seat Law
After reaching 18 kg, children in Nova Scotia can move from a car seat to a booster seat. All children must remain in appropriate booster seat until they are at least 9 years old OR at least 4 feet 9 inches in height.
Children over the age of 9 can wear an adult seatbelt and are no longer required to use a restraint system designed for children. Nova Scotia doesn’t publish any laws prohibiting children over age 9 from sitting in the front seat. However, most vehicles recommend that children remain in the back seat until they reach the age of 13 because of the dangers associated with the passenger side airbag.
Nova Scotia’s Motor Vehicle Act requires everyone in a vehicle to wear a seat belt. The driver of the vehicle is responsible for making sure that every child in the vehicle who is under the age of 16 is properly restrained, either in a seat belt or child restraint system.
Restraint System Design
Nova Scotia requires car seats designed for infants to conform to the requirements of Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.1. This means that the car seat:
- Must be designed to face the rear of the vehicle.
- Must restrain the lower torso.
- Must have belts over each shoulder to restrain the upper torso.
- Must connect to a vehicle by means of a lower connector system or with a safety belt that does not impose any weight on the infant.
- Must provide a visible or audible indication when lower connectors are securely attached to the anchorage system.
- Must be able to fit infants snugly.
Car seats must also meet certain requirements with regard to the materials that compose them, their belt buckles and more. Before being approved, car seats must be subjected to inversion testing and dynamic testing. Car seats that comply with all of these regulations will include a label that indicates the height and weight of infants the system is designed to support, the date of manufacture, the model name and number of the car seat and the name of the manufacturer.
Nova Scotia requires booster seats to attach by means of a lower connector system or a seat belt. Booster seats must not contain any parts that will restrain the forward movement of a child’s torso during the event of a frontal impact. As with car seats designed for infants and younger children, booster seats must also meet certain requirements with regard to composition materials, belt buckles and testing.
Other provinces in Canada have different laws regarding car seats and booster seats. When out of province drivers enter Nova Scotia, they are not subject to Nova Scotia’s laws. Instead, they will be subject to the laws established by the province where their vehicle is registered.
Recent Changes to Nova Scotia Car Seat Law
Nova Scotia car seat laws have remained relatively unchanged in recent years. The most recent update to require car seat testing, for example, was published in May of 2012. However, because these laws may be changed in the future, drivers should check back in the future to make sure that they are still in compliance with relevant regulations.
In some cases, a car seat manufacturer may falsely claim that its products comply with regulations in Canada and Nova Scotia. If a child is injured because the car seat does not comply with these regulations, a consumer may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer in order to recover associated expenses.
If you believe that your child was injured because of a malfunctioning or defective car seat, please contact McKiggan Hebert Lawyers to discuss the issue and find out more about filing a claim against the manufacturer.