Edward F. Younger
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Seat Belt or Child Restraint

Seat Belt or Child Restraint Violation

Safety Belt Violations
With the exception of New Hampshire, every state has a law requiring the use of safety belts by adult drivers and passengers in motor vehicles. About half of states allow a law enforcement officer to make a traffic stop based solely on a seat belt violation (meaning that enforcement of seat belt laws is "primary" in those states), while the remaining states require that a law enforcement officer make a traffic stop for a different reason, such as speeding or a mechanical violation, before the seat belt law may be enforced (meaning that enforcement can only be "secondary" in those states).

The traffic laws in some states consider seat belt violations as non-moving violations requiring payment of a fine only (similar to a parking ticket). The amount of the fine can vary from $10 (in Arizona, Idaho, and Kansas) to as much as $200 (for certain seat belt violations in Texas). Other states, in addition to imposing a fine, treat a seat belt violation as a moving violation which shows up as "points" on a driving record, and the offense may lead to increased automobile insurance rates.

Child Restraint Violations
Each state also has traffic laws that require the use of child safety seats for child passengers under a certain age and/or body weight (usually regardless of whether the child is in a front or rear seat). In addition, some states prohibit children below a set weight/age from riding in child safety seats in the front seats of vehicles that are equipped with a passenger side air bag. Child passengers with an age and/or body weight above the limit for a child safety seat may usually be restrained with a standard safety belt.
The information on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Please contact us to obtain legal advice pertaining to your situation.