When are children allowed to sit in the front seat of a car?? Regulations according to stvo

When are children allowed to sit in the front of a car? Regulations according to StVO

From when are children allowed to sit in the front of the car? Many parents ask themselves this question. There is a clear regulation in Germany, which we would like to present to you here. In addition, there are also other recommendations on how children can ride in the car on.

Children naturally like to sit in the front of the car. However, both here in the Federal Republic of Germany and in many other European countries, there is an Child seat obligation. In this country, the obligation for the child seat arose on 1. April 1993. In the following we would like to give an overview of the most important regulations in Germany and Austria. All information is without guarantee and should always be checked to ensure that it is up to date.

When are children allowed to sit in the front of the car?

The rule according to § 21 (1a) of the StVO says that offspring up to the age of 12. The child must be at least 150 centimeters tall by the time he or she reaches the age of, the smaller than 150 centimeters are only with a child restraint system may be taken along. This restraint must meet the requirements and be suitable for the offspring.

Free choice of seat from 12 years and 150 cm body height

As soon as the child is 150 centimeters high, it may sit independently of the age also in front. The same applies, regardless of height, when the child reaches the age of twelve.

However, babies and newborns weighing less than 9 kilograms may also sit in a child seat with a restraint system in the front. These seats are known to most parents as “Reboarder seats” a term. They are mounted backwards and are mandatory for children who weigh less than nine kilograms. Many experts advise children to ride in a reboarder seat even after this age. Here the airbag must be deactivated.

Regulations in Austria

Since 1993, the rule in Germany has been that children up to a height of 150 centimeters or up to the completed twelfth year must be transported in a suitable child seat. In Austria, the child seat is even allowed up to the age of 14. Mandatory for children over the age of 18. The road traffic regulations in the beautiful alpine country want it so. For all parents, the safety of their children is of course paramount. Therefore they will not save money when buying a child seat.

What to look for in a child seat in the car?

Since 2013, the “Isofix“Mandatory for every new car registered in the Federal Republic of Germany. This fastening system is used by parents for easy mounting of a child seat to the car seat. A good child seat, properly secured, is the best protection for your offspring during car rides. The driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring that the small or young passenger is transported in accordance with the regulations. It does not matter whether the journey is long or short.

Child seats according to the UN-ECE R44/04 regulation are divided into different categories:

  • Group “0” includes infant carriers for newborns weighing between 0 and 10 kilograms.
  • Group “0+” also includes baby seats. They are intended for infants from 0 to 13 kilograms.
  • Group “I” includes reboarders and rear-facing child seats (9 to 18 kilograms).
  • In the child seat group “II” are reboarder and forward-facing child seats for kids between 22 and 36 kilograms.
  • Group “I/II” booster and forward-facing child seats are designed for children weighing between 9 and 25 kilograms.
  • Group III products for children weighing between 22 and 30 kilograms are often sold as simple booster seats without a backrest or side impact protection.
  • The manufacturers of child seats are also launching forward-facing child seats with height-adjustable headrests in the “II/II” group.

It is also worth noting that since 2018, newly sold child seats must comply with the new i-Size standard. Stricter requirements must be met than for the categories ECE R44/04 and ECE R 44/03.

Recommendations from experts

Accident statistics show it again and again: the safest place for your kids is the back seat. Therefore, they should sit in the back if possible. As soon as a child is 1.50 meters tall, it has free choice of seat in the car. It is allowed to sit in the front without a child seat or booster seat. Because the seat belt can be guided along the body of the offspring, without the neck is cut off. Safety is ensured even in the event of a spontaneous braking maneuver.

By law, children can do without a child seat if they are twelve years old or older (but do not yet measure 1.50 meters). To ensure that the seat belt runs correctly, experts advise the use of booster seats in such cases. In any case, the child has the free choice of seat. It should also be noted that if two child seats are installed in the back seat, an additional child seat can be dispensed with for the third child after the age of three. However, your offspring must then be secured with the vehicle’s own 3-point seat belt.

Where is the safest place for the child seat?

According to many experts, the middle seat in the back is considered the safest place to put a child seat. There is a perfectly understandable reason for this, because the free seats on the left and right offer the offspring additional protection in the event of a side impact. Older car models are often only equipped with a lap belt. However, since a booster seat may not be used with a lap belt, the middle seat on the back seat is no longer available.

Most new vehicle models are now already equipped with the Isofix fastening system. This means that you can attach your child car seat (with Isofix) to the Isofix attachment. As soon as the seat is properly secured, an audible signal sounds. With this type of fastening, there is a stable connection between the child seat and the vehicle bodywork. Parents who buy a new child seat must make sure that it is also compatible with their vehicle. Small infants who are taken along in the reboarder on the front seat look against the direction of travel during the journey. These seats act like a protective shield. You catch the small child. They also ensure that the impact energy is distributed evenly. It is important to note that the passenger airbag must not be activated when a child seat is rear-facing.

In the case of violations of the Road Traffic Act § 21 (1a), the driver of the vehicle is subject to a substantial fine, which can be found in the catalog of fines on the Internet.


Hi, I am Melanie! Since the birth of my daughter, I have been writing here about everything that could be relevant in the life of a mother.

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