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Is a car seat mandatory in Italy?

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Is a car seat mandatory in Italy?

Today we are going to talk about a subject that raises many questions, especially for those traveling with children: is it mandatory to use a car seat in Italy? Up to what age? Do I take it from Brazil or rent it with the car? Let’s go to our post today: Is a car seat in Italy mandatory? Stay with us and make the most of boot country! Here at Italy’s Dream Tourism you can make the trip of your dreams come true!! Also check out our Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your Vacations Section!

Our Introduction

Italian traffic laws have undergone several changes over the years, mainly aimed at the safety of those who drive on the country’s roads. Article 172 of the Italian Highway Code regulates the transport of children in vehicles and states that, “depending on their age, it is necessary to use a car seat, boosters, and seat belts, but they must be used properly to avoid possible damage in the event of a collision.” Get to know our Driving in Italy section! 

1) Is a car seat in Italy mandatory? YES! GET TO KNOW THE SPECIFIC GROUPS OF CAR SEATS

In general, the systems are for newborn children up to 12 years old who are less than 1.50 m tall, but many still have questions on the subject, for example: what if the child reaches 1.50 m in height before 12 years of age? What if I don’t have a child seat in the car for children under 12? How do I choose the ideal seat?

Well, first of all, it is important to know that there are five specific groups when we talk about child car seats, all based on age, as follows:

Group 0 (navicella)

Used for children from 0 to 10 kg (from 0 to 9 months of age), it allows the child to travel lying down.

Group 0 + (ovetto)

For children from 0 to 13 kg (from 0 to 15 months), it is similar to the previous group, but there is more protection for the head and legs.

Group 1

For children from 9 to 18 kg (from 9 months to 4-5 years, approximately), the device must be secured to the car via the seat belt. The belt must be passed inside the seat frame and must be well stretched to prevent any movement,

Group 2

For children from 15 to 25 kg (from 4 to 6 years old, approximately). They are, in fact, a small bench (called a booster, which “lifts” the child inside the car) equipped with armrests and sometimes with a small back support. They are used to elevate the child so that he can use, with the addition of a fastening device, the seat belts of the cars so that the seat belt “holds” him at the correct points (above the pelvis and over the shoulder).

Group 3

For children from 22 to 36 kg (from 6 to 12 years old), it is also a kind of booster seat, however, without armrests, its purpose is also to increase the height of the child so that the seat belts protect him at the correct points.

Are you traveling with children? Then be sure to read our special posts for those traveling with children:

2) Is a car seat mandatory in Italy? YES! SEE THE IDEAL LOCATION FOR INSTALLATION

The safest place for the devices to be is the central rear seat, as you have a full view of the child through the car’s rearview mirror. In addition, if the car seat is installed on the passenger seat at the front, the front airbag must be DEACTIVATED, as it can be very dangerous in the event of a crash, to activate it. Ideally, you should use the rear seat.

The obligation to use these systems is no longer mandatory when the child turns 12 years old or is over 1.50 m tall (even under 12 years old), because from that moment on he can already wear seat belts at the correct height. If the child turns 12 years old and is less than five feet tall, although it is no longer mandatory, it is highly recommended to continue using the booster seat.

3) Is a car seat mandatory in Italy? YES! FINE AMOUNT AND ACCIDENT STATISTICS

Yes! Its use IS MANDATORY, on roads and in cities, according to the Italian Road Law number 157. Failure to comply with the law can result in a fine ranging from 70 to 285 euros.

Some of the reasons that led to the change in the Italian law regarding the transport of children in passenger cars were the alarming data on road accidents! Car accidents are among the leading causes of death among children, with the majority of accidents occurring on urban roads; 6 out of 10 children do not travel in a car seat or with suitable restraint devices (many travel on an adult’s lap); A 10-kg child in an impact at just 50 km/h produces a force of 200 kg! By using the car seat or booster with the seat belt, the reduction in risks is immense: it reduces serious injury by up to 90% and reduces the risk of death by up to 70%.  Read our post Fines in Italy What if I don’t pay? What happens?

Important to know

  • Carrying children on your lap is NOT SAFE! In the event of a serious accident or rollover, the child can literally fly out of the vehicle.
  • The child’s “normal crib” should never be used in the car, nor should inappropriate car seats; this also generates a fine, in addition to being dangerous!
  • Remember that the seat must be rotated in the opposite direction to the direction of travel until the child is 15 months old. There are species of rearview mirrors on the market, which are nothing more than a mirror that you fit in the headrest in the back seat and have the perfect view of the child.
  • The central rear seat is the safest and most suitable; if this is not possible, place the seat on the opposite side of the driver’s seat.
  • Nowadays, cars have the option of locking the door with a key; that is, the door only opens from the outside! If the rental car has this option, use it! You can never have too much security.

How to request the ideal car seat at the car rental company?

At the time of booking, please advise that you are traveling with a child and need to rent the “seggiolino” (car seat, in Italian). Remember, of course, to inform the child of their age and ask them to leave it installed for you. If the car seat is not already in the car, do not worry; it does not require practice or experience. There are instructions behind the car seat, and in newer cars, there is the ISOFIX system.

What is the ISOFIX system?

The ISOFIX system is an international standardized fastening system that provides a very simple but effective mechanism: at the base of the car seat, there are two universal connectors that insert into the corresponding hooks between the seat and the rear of the car seat. In this way, the child car seat attaches directly to the seat without resorting to the vehicle’s seat belts, thus creating a rigid connection between the seat and the car’s structure. IMPORTANT: THE ISOFIX SYSTEM DOES NOT CHANGE THE OBLIGATION TO WEAR A SEAT BELT!

Are you going to travel around Italy by car?

Read TRAVELING BY CAR IN ITALY: EXAMPLES OF ITINERARIES. And if you’re renting a car, be sure to read our posts in the Driving in Italy section. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signs, tolls, roads, and much more.

Important to know

If you are going to drive in Italy, is it essential to have an international license? If you do not have one, do not drive, as you will get in a lot of trouble with the Italian police! READ THE POST DO I NEED AN INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT IN ITALY (IDP)?


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Is a car seat mandatory in Italy? YES! Safety is essential, especially when traveling by car. In addition to always wearing your seat belt, if you are going to drive, DO NOT DRINK!

Do you feel unsafe traveling?

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