Child Passenger Safety Project

Child Passenger Safety

The Dubuque Police Department participates in the Child Passenger Safety Project in an effort to reduce child injury and death caused by motor vehicle crashes.

Since 1985, Iowa has had a law requiring all young children riding in motor vehicles to be properly protected through the use of child seats, booster seats, and/or seat belts. In 2004 and again in 2009, the Iowa Legislature revised the requirements of our child passenger safety law. Iowa’s current child passenger safety law requires that:

  • Children must ride in an appropriate rear-facing child safety seat until one year of age and at least 20 pounds.
  • Children must ride in a child safety seat or a booster seat through the age of 5 years.
  • Children ages 6 through 17 must ride in a booster seat and/or seat belt.

Iowa Restraint Law Reference Guide

Child Safety Seat Inspections

The Dubuque Police Department is partnered with Anderson-Weber Toyota, who donated a new Toyota Sienna minivan for use primarily with the Child Safety Seat Program, as well as the DARE program. Anderson-Weber has been an excellent partner since this program began in 2001 and we are grateful for their continued support. 

Child safety seat fit stations are conducted at Anderson-Weber on every third Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Appointments are strongly encouraged and receive priority over walk-ins. To schedule an appointment, call Anderson-Weber at 563.556.3281. Parents and guardians who are unable schedule an appointment at Anderson-Weber may also contact Lt. Ted McClimon at 563.589.4473 to schedule an appointment with a technician. 

dare vanA.jpg

The Dubuque Police Department has joined forces with Mercy Hospital, the Dubuque Fire Department, Steve’s Ace Hardware and Operation New View in an effort to reduce child injury and death caused by motor vehicle crashes. The police department currently has six certified Child Safety Seat Technicians:

  • Capt. Scott Baxter, Shift IILoading Patrol Captain 
  • Lt. Ted McClimon, Public Information/Crime Prevention
  • Officer Becky Stieber, School Resource Officer 
  • Officer Karen Smith, Traffic Officer 
  • Officer Andrew Harden, Neighborhood Response Team Corporal 
  • Dawn Young, Police Admin

Iowa’s Child Passenger Law

Iowa Motor Vehicle Code (321.446) requires all children under 18 to be properly restrained regardless of their seating position within the vehicle.  Failure to do so could result in a total fine of $195.  Laws vary from state to state - be sure to familiarize yourself with the law in each state you intend to travel.

In Iowa, infants under 1 year of age AND 20 pounds must be secured rear-facing in the appropriate child restraint seat. Children under the age of 6 must be restrained in the appropriate child restraint seat for his/her height & weight.  Children 6 through 17 years of age must be properly restrained (experts recommend the child remain in a booster seat until 4’09"). 

Iowa Child Restraint Law Reference Guide

Iowa Code defines what type of restraint a child must be in, though child safety experts consider the legal requirements to be a minimum standard. Please view the Law vs. Best Practice flyer for recommended restraint options. 

In order to measure compliance with the law and to direct educational efforts, observational usage surveys have been conducted annually since 1988. The surveys are funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) within the Iowa Department of Public Safety. The GTSB has contracted with The University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center (UI IPRC) to conduct these child passenger safety surveys since 1996.

Are Iowan Children Buckled Up? Results from a 2019 survey.