VICENZA, Italy (March 19, 2019) -- Child safety is a top priority for parents, so learning some "rules of the road" for child passenger safety in Italy is one more way we can take care of our families.
It is extremely important to ensure all children riding in your vehicle are properly secured before every trip. Most accidents occur within a few miles from home, so secure your child for every trip, no matter how short.

Italian Road Code requires children to be secured in an appropriate car seat up until 12 years of age. Children who reach 1.5 meters (approximately 4 feet, 9 inches) in height before the age of 12, can be secured in a vehicle using only a seat belt. All car seats used in Europe must conform to ECE R44. The regulation specifies five categories of car seats, based upon weight and not age.

Effective July 1, 2019, the Italian government is implementing a new child passenger safety law - Law 2018, October 1, n. 117. The law is aimed to prevent the tragedy of children being forgotten inside a vehicle, secured in their car seat. The new law provides that all vehicles registered in Italy or all vehicles registered in a foreign country when the driver is resident in Italy must be equipped with an alarm that will prevent children under the age of four from being left unattended in the vehicle. A decree will further establish the technical features of this alarm; however, there are already numerous products, both high tech and low tech, that vehicle operators can use.

Vehicles owned by service members and civilian employees are not registered in the Italian system; furthermore, service members, civilian employees and their dependents are not residents of Italy. Therefore, the new rules should not apply to vehicles owned and operated by these groups. Please note, however, the new rules do apply if the vehicle is driven by a spouse who is a resident of Italy (e.g., Italian national).

For advice on these issues or assistance on other Italian legal issues, visit the Vicenza Legal Assistance Office, Building 166 on Caserma Ederle.