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Taxis and Child Car Seats

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posts: 100
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Taxis and Child Car Seats

There's been some discussion about this in the past, but I decided to get some clarification from the Hackney Unit of the Boston Police Department. In most areas of the United States kids have to use child safety seats when traveling in a car...except when they're in a taxi.

I couldn't find that same exemption in Massachusetts law. The law says that a taxi driver is exempt from the $25 fine that would usually be issued, but it never says that the kids are exempt from the law requiring them to be secured. I asked people in this forum, and some said that you don't need to use the safety seat, others weren't sure.

The response I got from the Hackney unit is that kids are NOT exempt when riding in a taxi or similar vehicle, and that the accompanying adult would be issued the citation. I can't speak to whether or not this is actually enforced, but that's what the law specifically states.

Needless to say, this is a huge headache for people traveling with toddlers. The most logical option is to use public transportation as often as possible, or rent a vehicle. My issue is that you can use public transportation, but sometimes you get stranded somewhere and it's not an option to use it on the way back. You're probably expected to just carry around the safety seat with you around town...oh well.

17 replies to this topic
posts: 100
reviews: 3
11. Re: Taxis and Child Car Seats

It was my first time using it, and I loved it. I'd call it more of a review than a plug.

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12. Re: Taxis and Child Car Seats

So just booked a car through Planet Tran with a car seat in Boston. Not sure how it will go -- just needed a service with a car seat. With regard to Uber, my husband and I have admittedly done that too, especially when it was really cold outside. Really what this city needs is better public transportation, a la nyc, so that the elderly and those who can't/don't drive can get around, but that's a conversation for another day.

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13. Re: Taxis and Child Car Seats

We have always used carseats with our children -- even in taxis -- not because of the potential to be fined by the police, but simply because we want to protect the children under our care. Using an age-appropriate carseat for all trips is recommended by every organization you can think of, from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Carrying a carseat is a small inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.

Parents do tend to over-worry about certain issues, but in this case I would disagree that the concern is overblown: motor vehicle crashes are still among the top 3 leading causes of death for children of many age groups (roughly ages 5-18) and riding without an appropriate restraint, even in relatively low-speed urban traffic, is correlated with adverse outcomes.

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14. Re: Taxis and Child Car Seats

I think the objective by esk was more to promote planet transportation than safety

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for Boston
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15. Re: Taxis and Child Car Seats


Did you actually ever use or even see the subway in Boston? My guess is not based on your answer. It's actually the first one in the country.

Edited: 6:13 pm, December 18, 2013
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16. Re: Taxis and Child Car Seats

Esk, we have great public transportation. The T is super easy to use.

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17. Re: Taxis and Child Car Seats

Just wanted to update that the drive went without a hitch. The driver was actually early and was incredibly helpful with bags and my son. Will definitely and absolutely use again.

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