307.179. 1. As used in this section, the following terms shall mean:
(1) "Child booster seat", a seating system which meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set forth in 49 C.F.R. 571.213, as amended, that is designed to elevate a child to properly sit in a federally approved safety belt system;
(2) "Child passenger restraint system", a seating system which meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set forth in 49 C.F.R. 571.213, as amended, and which is either permanently affixed to a motor vehicle or is affixed to such vehicle by a safety belt or a universal attachment system;
(3) "Driver", a person who is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.
2. Every driver transporting a child under the age of sixteen years shall be responsible, when transporting such child in a motor vehicle operated by that driver on the streets or highways of this state, for providing for the protection of such child as follows:
(1) Children less than four years of age, regardless of weight, shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for that child;
(2) Children weighing less than forty pounds, regardless of age, shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for that child;
(3) Children at least four years of age but less than eight years of age, who also weigh at least forty pounds but less than eighty pounds, and who are also less than four feet, nine inches tall, shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child;
(4) Children at least eighty pounds or children more than four feet, nine inches in height shall be secured by a vehicle safety belt or booster seat appropriate for that child;
(5) A child who otherwise would be required to be secured in a booster seat may be transported in the back seat of a motor vehicle while wearing only a lap belt if the back seat of the motor vehicle is not equipped with a combination lap and shoulder belt for booster seat installation;
(6) When transporting children in the immediate family when there are more children than there are seating positions in the enclosed area of a motor vehicle, the children who are not able to be restrained by a child safety restraint device appropriate for the child shall sit in the area behind the front seat of the motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is designed only for a front seat area. The driver transporting children referred to in this subsection is not in violation of this section.
This subsection shall only apply to the use of a child passenger restraint system or vehicle safety belt for children less than sixteen years of age being transported in a motor vehicle.
3. Any driver who violates subdivision (1), (2), or (3) of subsection 2 of this section is guilty of an infraction and, upon conviction, may be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars and court costs. Any driver who violates subdivision (4) of subsection 2 of this section shall be subject to the penalty in subsection 5 of section 307.178. If a driver receives a citation for violating subdivision (1), (2), or (3) of subsection 2 of this section, the charges shall be dismissed or withdrawn if the driver prior to or at his or her hearing provides evidence of acquisition of a child passenger restraint system or child booster seat which is satisfactory to the court or the party responsible for prosecuting the driver's citation.
4. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any public carrier for hire. The provisions of this section shall not apply to students four years of age or older who are passengers on a school bus designed for carrying eleven passengers or more and which is manufactured or equipped pursuant to Missouri Minimum Standards for School Buses as school buses are defined in section 301.010.
5. The highways and transportation commission shall initiate and develop a program of public information to develop understanding of, and ensure compliance with, the provisions of this section.
(L. 2006 S.B. 872, et al. § 307.182)
Missouri General Assembly