US rules on car seats trump new German law
Stars and Stripes
New child safety seat requirements in Germany won’t put drivers with U.S. forces licenses in the path of fines as long as they are following existing U.S. forces driving regulations, according to U.S. Army Europe.
A German ordinance that went into effect April 8 mandates that child safety seats used in Germany meet newer European standards.
However, the status of forces agreement allows U.S. forces to use either U.S. Department of Transportation-approved seats or seats that meet the European standard.
The agreement does not exempt U.S. forces from following German rules on who must use a child seat in a vehicle that would normally require seat belt use.
According to USAREUR:
- If your children are under age 12 and shorter than 150 centimeters (about 59 inches), you must put them in an approved child-restraint system.
- If your children are 150 cm or taller, you must use the approved seat-belt system in the vehicle and are not authorized to use a child-restraint system (car seat, booster seat) for them.
- If your children are older than 12, regardless of height, you must use the approved seat belt system in the vehicle for them.
For more information, refer to Army in Europe Regulation 190-1, available here.