Safety Laws in South Carolina

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Child Car Seat Laws

All children younger than 6 years old must ride in an approved child safety seat. However, some exceptions do apply:

  • Any child weighing less than 20 pounds or younger than 1 year old must ride in a rear-facing child safety seat.
  • Any child weighing between 20 pounds and 40 pounds or aged between 1 and 5 years old must be in a forward-facing child safety seat.
  • Any child weighing between 40 pounds and 80 pounds or aged between 1 and 5 years old must be in a belt-positioning booster seat.
  • Any child weighing over 80 pounds, regardless of age, is not required to ride in a booster seat.

In general, any child younger than 6 years old cannot sit in front seat. However, if the vehicle was manufactured without a back seat, or if all back seats are occupied, a child younger than 6 years old can sit in front seat. If you are in the market shopping for a child car seat, you can purchase one online. The South Carolina Office of Highway Safety has several child car seat installation stations that you can approach to help you install your seat. For more information, contact them at (877) 349-7187.

Seat Belts laws

Passengers and drivers are required to wear seat belts while riding in a vehicle that is in motion. A law enforcement officer has a right to pull your vehicle over if he suspects that you are not wearing a seat belt. It is the responsibility of a driver to ensure that all passengers younger than 17 years old are properly secured in a seat belt. However, drivers younger than 17 years old with a license of any kind are responsible for their own conduct. If you are caught violating the above law, you will face a fine of up to $25 per violation. No point will be added on your driving record.

Cell Phones and Texting

Currently, South Carolina doesn’t ban the use or cell phones to make calls, receive calls, read texts or send texts while driving.


All motorcycle riders younger than 21 years old are required by law to wear helmets and protective eye gear.

Unattended Children or pets in a vehicle

The state doesn’t have any statewide law that addresses the issue of leaving children or pet unattended in a vehicle. You are required to use common sense to know that it is not wise to do so. In fact you will jeopardize the child or pet’s health or safety especially if the weather is bad. If you suspect unattended pet or child in danger, dial 911 immediately.