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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
If you have not already encountered a parent with a young child, but no Child Safety Seat (car seat), then you soon will. The parent will beg you to transport them, despite the HUGE RISK to you, the driver. You may feel compassionate, but is that or a couple of dollars worth the terrible consequences of an accident where a young child is injured?

As an independent contractor, it is entirely your decision to make. Uber or Lyft will not hassle a driver for refusing a fare including a young child without a car seat. However, to protect yourself, you should report this to customer service immediately in case the rider/parent complains.

Important to understand that the driver assumes all the risk for ignoring current laws. Blaming the parent, who did not bring a car seat, is no defense. Uber profits, but is legally protected by its existing policies and may permanently deactivate a driver who is caught and fined.

Uber has a $10 surcharge for ordering UberX with a Child Safety Seat in New York City, but not the rest of New York State. :( Uber considers it prohibited "solicitation" if you carry a car seat and ask for additional compensation. :mad: The driver may still be responsible if the Child Safety Seat supplied fails in an accident. To cover all ages to 8, 2 different seats may be needed, car seats for 0 to 4 years old and booster seats for 4 to 8 years old. There are more expensive combination seats that handle ages 0 to 8 years old. What if a parent brings both a 2 year-old and a 3 year-old or a 6 year-old?

Know the laws in every state that you might drive in. They are different, complex, and often ambiguous.

New York State Law

Does the law apply to taxis and buses?

No. Liveries, taxis, and public transportation buses are exempt from the occupant restraint law. However, children under the age of four must be restrained in a federally approved car seat while riding on a school bus [Section 1229-c(11), NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law].

AFAIK this exemption has not been extended to TNCs (rideshare) so my guess is that it doesn't apply. The law was probably made before the existence of TNCs so maybe it will be updated eventually to include them. I suppose there is the possibility than an officer might decide to view Uber/lyft drivers as Liveries/taxis and not issue a ticket but I don't think any of us would want to test that.

Possible penalties include: Fine + Points + Insurance increase + Deactivation. That's without an accident or injury to a child, which may bring criminal charges. In general,

  • Any child younger than four must ride in a federally approved child safety seat that's properly secured by a safety belt or a universal child restraint anchorage system.
  • All children younger than 8 years old must be secured in a child safety seat restraint system. This includes safety seats, harness vests and booster seats attached via safety belts.
  • Any child younger than 4, but who weighs more than 40 pounds, may be secured in a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt.
  • If all safety seats are occupied, a child who would normally require a booster seat should instead be secured by a lap belt.
  • Every rider younger than 16 must use a seat belt.
It is not illegal under NYS law for an older child passenger to ride in the front seat of a vehicle that has a passenger air bag, but it is dangerous. Recent studies show that air bags can cause serious or fatal injuries to infants, children or small adults that sit in the passenger-side front seat. It is also normally safer for a child of any age to ride in the back seat of any vehicle. For the best child passenger protection in your vehicle
  • Never put a child safety seat that faces the rear of the vehicle in the front seat of a vehicle if the vehicle has a passenger-side air bag.
  • Do not put small children in the front seat of vehicle that has an air bag. Put a child that does not use a safety seat and who is less than 5 feet in height in the back seat.
  • If a child must ride in the front seat, make sure the car seat is installed as far back as possible. Fasten the child securely in the child safety seat or lap and shoulder belts. An air bag that opens suddenly can cause a serious injury to your infant or young child.
  • Air bags, used with seat belts, provide the best protection for older children and adults during an accident.
  • Remember that the back seat is the safest location for children to ride. Read more tips on the correct use of safety seats and child restraint systems.

Connecticut Law

See Sec. Connecticut General Statutes, Title 14, Chapter 246, Sect. 14-100a. Seat safety belts. Child restraint systems

Change as of October 1, 2017
Here and summarized there.

New Jersey Law

Here and summarized there.
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