Hawaii's Car Booster Seat Law and Child Seat
Alamo: $10.99/day or up to $60 per rental maximum.
Avis: $13.00 per day or not to exceed $65 per rental
Budget: $13.00 per day or not to exceed $65 per rental
Dollar: $12.00 per day or up to $72 per rental maximum.
Enterprise: $8.95/day or up to $44.95 per week.
Thrifty: $12.00 per day or up to $72 per rental maximum.
Consider bringing your own seats or purchasing on arrival at local Costco or other retail stores.
Hawaii state law requires that all children under age four be restrained in a federally approved
child safety seat. A new law, in effect as of January 1, 2007, requires that children ages four through seven
ride in a booster seat or car seat any time they are in a vehicle. The only exceptions are for children
taller than 4'9" or those riding in vehicles with lap-only seatbelts in rear seats.
Beginning on January 1, 2007, Hawaii will be the 35th state to have a car booster seat
law. The new law will require children between the ages of four through seven to ride in a booster seat
whenever traveling in a motor vehicle. The only exemptions are if the child is over 4'9" or if the vehicle
has lap-only seat belts in the rear seat.
A Hawaii State tax credit of $25 per year applies to the purchase of a booster or child safety
The driver is held responsible for compliance with the law. Violators of Hawaii’s Child
Passenger Restraint Law are required to attend a 4-hour class and may be assessed a fine of between $100-$500
depending upon the number of offenses. However, the most compelling reason for using a booster seat is the
safety of your child.
Basic guidelines on the proper use of booster seats:
- Use for children between the ages of four through seven, unless at least 4’9’’
- Use until the vehicle lap and shoulder belt fit correctly. (The lap belt should fit low and
snug on their hips, and the shoulder belt should not cross over a child’s face or
- Never put the shoulder belt behind a child’s back or under their arm.
- A high back or low back booster with no shield may be used.
Never Hold Your Infant Or Child In Your Lap.
- A crash or sudden stop can result in a serious injury or even a fatality.
Who should use a booster seat?
Each year, more than 700 children, between the ages of four through seven, are involved in major
car crashes in Hawaii. Statistics show that children unrestrained by seat belts are at least 50% more at risk
for injury than children in a child safety seat or booster seat.
The proper use of child passenger restraints, such as a booster seat, is the most important
factor in preventing death and injury in a car crash. Seat belts are designed for older children and adults,
not for children under the age of eight, whose size and physical development make seat belts less effective,
and in some cases, unsafe.
A child under 80 lbs. is generally too small for an adult seat belt. The lap belt rides up over
the stomach and the shoulder belt cuts across the neck. In a crash this can cause critical or even fatal
When children outgrow child restraints with a harness, between 40 and 65 lbs. depending on seat
weight limit, they should be restrained in a booster seat until they are big enough to fit in an adult seat
belt (approximately 80 lbs. and 4’9’’ tall).
A child who cannot sit with his or her back against the vehicle seat back cushion with knees
bent over the vehicle’s seat edge without slouching, should use a booster seat — no matter what age, weight
Using a booster seat can save your child’s life.
Governor Enacts New Traffic Safety Laws to Save Lives, Reduce Injuries May 20,
News Release from Office of the Governor May 20,
HONOLULU – With representatives of the state Departments of
Transportation (DOT) and Health (DOH), county police departments and traffic safety advocates standing in
support, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed into law two significant traffic safety bills that will save
lives and reduce serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes in Hawaii.
“Hawaii is putting safety first on our roadways with the enactment
of our state’s universal seat belt law; this measure closes the gap in protecting all passengers riding in a
motor vehicle,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “In addition, the enactment of Hawaii’s distracted driving law
establishes consistency across the state for the usage of mobile electronic devices while driving,
simplifying enforcement and likewise making our highways and roadways safer.”
Senate Bill 4, relating to “Motor Vehicles”
– Enacted as Act 73, this measure requires all front
seat and back
seat occupants to buckle up, effective immediately.
Adults and children must use their seat belts and child restraints at all times. Unrestrained back seat
passengers were more than three times as likely to have injuries that were fatal or required hospitalization
compared to restrained back seat passengers, based on DOH’s analysis of Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
records. Additionally, among back seat passengers who were treated for injuries by EMS, average medical
charges were nearly tripled among those who did not use seat belts ($11,043), compared to restrained
“The Department of Health is pleased to see rates of
passenger-related injuries going down based on high levels of seat belt use among front seat passengers,”
said Health Director Loretta Fuddy. “We anticipate that we’ll see further reductions in injuries and death
with the passage of this law for back seat passengers.”
House Bill 980, relating to “Highway Safety” – Enacted today as
Act 74, this measure is effective July 1, 2013. While all counties have some form of a distracted driving
ordinance in place, this measure establishes a state law that creates consistent requirements across all
counties for the use of mobile electronic devices while driving and will simplify enforcement. Crash data
from the DOT shows that during 2007, 32 percent (2,871 of the 8,770 collisions) were attributed to
inattention to driving.
“People are injured or dying each year simply because they were
not paying attention to the road. The possibility of causing a crash that could ruin lives is just too
great,” said DOT Director Glenn Okimoto. “We are focusing on changing the behaviors of drivers through
legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education – the same activities that have helped curb impaired
driving and increased seat belt use. Our goal is to help drivers understand that texting, cell phone use, and
other distractions behind the wheel can have dangerous consequences.”
The bill signings were held in conjunction with the DOT’s launch
of the annual Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign, a partnership between the state and counties with
federal funding. During the national Click It or Ticket mobilization from May 20 to June 2 and throughout the
year, police statewide will be continuing strict enforcement of the state seat belt and child passenger