Washington State Car Seat Law and EAS Booster Seat Policy
Some significant changes to Washington State Child Restraint Laws for auto passengers went into effect on January 1, 2020. Among the changes, children between the ages of 4-16 who are under the height of 4 foot 9 inches tall must be secured in a booster seat with a seat belt when riding as a passenger in a private vehicle.
Several EAS parent volunteer drivers have expressed very legitimate concerns about the new state booster seat law. They are uncomfortable transporting students whose height (less than 4’ 9”) necessitates a booster seat but do not have one.
We acknowledge that this new law has complications, but our primary focus is to protect our students and our parent volunteer drivers. While we expect our students to understand and respect this new law, we’re also aware that there is potential for teasing to occur. The EAS staff is closely monitoring student behavior and has a zero-tolerance policy regarding this.
The EAS staff has determined the following policy that is effective immediately:
- EAS students of height less than 4’ 9” must bring a booster seat to school on days they will be transported by volunteer drivers to off-site school activities. This primarily involves Wednesday Electives, Community Stewardship Projects (CSPs), and excursions. It also includes any other school-related events where transportation is provided by parent volunteer drivers.
- EAS will provide a secure location to store booster seats during the school day.
- If a student requires a booster seat but does not bring one to school, they will not be transported to the activity and parents will be called to take their student home. This will result in an unexcused absence and loss of any credit/grade for the missed activities.
- Note: This school requirement does not apply to students involved in neighborhood carpools to/from school. The involved families should discuss this among themselves. Any affected students may store their booster seat at school during the day, if needed.
Several parents have found highly rated, low-cost booster seats available for under $20. Search for the “backless booster seat”.