The Utah Department of Public Safety states that “seat belts are the most effective safety device for preventing death or injury.” When driving, it is important to understand Utah’s laws about wearing a seat belt to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers.
All Passengers Must Wear a Seat Belt
According to the Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Usage Act, all passengers in a vehicle must wear a seat belt that fits properly and is securely fastened. The purpose of this law is to help motivate drivers and passengers to always wear a seat belt. If a seat belt is not properly worn, you are at the risk of receiving a citation.
Even worse than fines, major injury and death can occur without the use of a seat belt. The use of a seat belt can reduce the risk of injury or death by 50% when they are used correctly. Buckle up instead of taking such a huge risk.
Children Under 8
Car seats are essential for children under the age of eight. Children’s bodies are too small for seat belts to be helpful in a car crash. The proper use of a car seat can significantly reduce the chance of injury or death when in an accident.
Car seats are most effective when they are the correct model based on the size and weight of the child. Do your research to determine the most accurate model for your child, and then take the time to install it correctly.
Once a child is 57 inches or taller, they can begin to use a seat belt. They should be able to naturally rest their back against the seat of the car and bend their knees over the edge of the seat.
Drivers are Responsible
Seat belt laws in Utah clearly state who is responsible for the passengers in the car. The driver is legally responsible for any passenger who is 16-years-old or younger; this applies to whether or not they are wearing a seat belt. This is an immense responsibility. When driving, make sure all passengers are appropriately buckled in, not only for their own safety, but in order to avoid a citation as well.
If a driver is pulled over and they, or a passenger, are not properly using a seat belt or a car seat, a $45 citation can be issued. A warning may be given in place of the first citation if the police officer sees fit. In certain situations, the fine can be waived if a 30-minute, online safety course is completed.
According to the Department of Safety, males aged 18-34 are the most common offenders of not using a seat belt. After that, males who are 55 and older are the most common. No matter the age or gender, every person should use a seat belt. Again, the risk is far too high to take a chance.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton
You may be following all of the seat belt laws in Utah, but even the safest and most skilled drivers are not immune to accidents. If you become involved in an accident, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is here to help.
We have offices in Utah County and West Jordan. Contact us to discuss your situation.