Hawaii’s Child Passenger Restraint Law requires children under 4 years of age to ride in a child safety seat. Children 4 through 7 years old must ride in a child passenger restraint or booster seat. The only exemption is if the child is over 4’9, weighs more than 80 lbs, or if the vehicle has only lap belts in the rear seat.
Violators are required to appear in court. If convicted, violators are required to attend a 4 hour class and may be assessed a penalty of $100-$500 depending on the number of offenses.
Of course, the most compelling reason for using a child passenger restraint is the safety of your child.
By the way, it is mandatory for all passengers to wear seat belts, front and back seats. And, sitting in the back of a pickup truck is technically legal but only if all seats in the truck cab are filled with passengers and only for passengers aged 13 and older. I personally think it’s a really bad idea, but it’s ‘survival of the fittest’, I guess.
Some car rental companies offer child safety seats and booster seats for rent. I personally have never rented one. There are just too many what-ifs, such as – has it been in an accident, and when was it most recently cleaned?
Yes, you can pick up booster seats for cheap at Kmart and Walmart, but… how are you going to get there without car seats? Dairy Road is a pretty busy road, at least by Maui standards. Your best bet is to just bring your car seats from home. Airlines will check car seats (and strollers/playpens) for free (up to three items per child).
A few years ago I was at an intersection in Kahului when a convertible (yes, one of those popular blue Ford Mustangs) with the top down pulled up next to me. The car was completely full of passengers, the trunk full of luggage. One of the adults in the back seat had a two year-old sitting on her lap. No car seat, not even a seat belt. Yikes. Don’t do that, please.