View the complete text of this act

ACT NO. 28

(S.25)

Motor Vehicles; Child Passenger Restraining Systems; Safety Belts

This act requires that all occupants under the age of 16 in a motor vehicle other than a type I school bus (a bus designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the operator) be restrained in a federally-approved child passenger restraining system or safety belt as follows:

(1) all children under the age of one and all children weighing less than 20 pounds regardless of age shall be restrained in a rear-facing position, properly secured in a federally-approved child passenger restraining system, which shall not be installed in front of an active air bag;

(2) a child weighing more than 20 pounds and who is one year of age or older and under the age of eight years shall be restrained in a child passenger restraining system; and

(3) a child eight through 15 years of age shall be restrained in a safety belt system or a child passenger restraining system. The above provisions are subject to primary enforcement by law enforcement officials.

Provisions of the child passenger restraint law exempting a child with a physical condition from being restrained and exempting children from being restrained if there are insufficient restraining systems or safety belts, are repealed.

The current penalty for violation of the child passenger restraint law is $25.00 and under the provisions of this act applies to first violations only. A second violation has a $50.00 penalty and $100.00 for third and subsequent violations.

The safety belt law has been amended to remove the provision which allows a person to be exempt from the law if a physician certifies in writing that use of a safety belt is inappropriate based on a physical condition.

The current penalty of $10.00 for violation of the safety belt law has been increased to $25.00 for a first violation, $50.00 for a second violation, and $100.00 for third and subsequent violations.

The governor’s highway safety program, the department of health, and the department of education have been assigned responsibility for conducting a public information campaign to educate the public about the change in the law and the low-cost seat program.

Effective Date: January 1, 2004