Every state has child car seat laws that are meant to keep babies and children safe in vehicles. In many cases, however, these laws do not apply when the child rides in a taxi cab. Although this allowance make it easier for parents to travel with their young children, it does make travel more dangerous. As a result, it is important to consider not only the applicable state laws but also your own comfort level when it comes to the safety of your children.
Child Restraint Laws
Individual state laws for car seat use vary. Most states ensure that children under the age of 4 remain in car seats and that children under 7 sit in booster seats. Some exemptions exist if the child reaches a certain size before he reaches the age at which he can sit without the restraint. In Mississippi, for example, a child no longer has to use a booster seat once he is either 57 inches tall or weighs 65 pounds. Every state, however, has laws that keep toddlers in car seats, reports the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Exemptions for Taxi Cabs
Many states have exemptions to car seat laws for children riding in taxis. In New York state, the Taxi and Limousine Commission reports that it does not have an applicable law regarding car seats. As a result, taxis and limos are exempt from the state's laws. The exemption is similar in Maryland, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation, as children are not required to sit in a car seat while riding in a taxi.
States Without Exemptions
Other states have made a conscious effort to enforce the car seat laws, even when passengers are riding in a taxi cab. In Oregon, all commercial vehicles that transport fewer than 15 people at a time are required to follow the same laws as passenger vehicles, reports the Oregon Department of Transportation. Taxi drivers are the only people with an exemption from the state's seat belt laws. California has taken a similar route, as there is no car seat exemption when riding in a taxi, notes SafetyBeltSafe USA.
Traveling Without a Car Seat
Regardless of the laws, it is a good idea to properly restrain your child before traveling in a taxi. If you do not have a car seat with you, avoid holding the child on your lap, even if it is legal. Place a seat belt on the child in this situation, as it will keep her much safer than holding her. You should also avoid sharing a seat belt with your child, since your weight could crush her if you have an accident, according to TheCarSeatLady.com.