If you're driving your child in a non-commercial vehicle in Maryland, you will need to follow the state's child restraint regulations. However, if you're riding in a commercial vehicle like a taxi, the normal car seat restrictions don't apply. Even if the law doesn't require that you use a car seat or booster in a taxi, your child will be safer if you use one, whether you bring your own or have the taxi company supply one.
Maryland Car Seat Regulations
Children under age 8 in Maryland must ride in approved child restraint systems unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. All children between the ages of 8 and 16 must ride using a regular seat belt. Although the Maryland car safety program, Kids in Safety Seats -- KISS for short -- states that children under age 13 are safest riding in the back seat, the Maryland Department of Transportation does not mandate this.
Commercial vehicles such as taxis are subject to different regulations than private vehicles in many states, including Maryland. While Maryland state law exempts taxis from car seat regulations, the state's KISS program recommends that you follow Maryland's child passenger safety laws when riding in one with your child, even if that means supplying your own car seat if necessary.
Using Car Seats
If you don't mind carrying it with you, you can take your child's car seat with you when using taxis. However, it might be easier to call the taxi company ahead of time and ask them to supply a car seat or booster seat when they pick you up. Many transport companies supply car seats for free or a small fee if you reserve them ahead of time.
Unrestrained passengers in taxis involved in traffic accidents have twice the risk of serious injury compared to restrained passengers, according to the Car Seat Lady web site. Belting your child into a seat belt with you or wearing an infant in an infant carrier won't protect your child. You run the risk of crushing your child in a crash, since the speed of the crash increases the force of your weight.
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