No parent wants to put their child in danger.
And this is why obeying the Utah car seat laws is a MUST.
It’s not just about avoiding tickets and fines…
It’s about making sure your child is safe when traveling.
But hold up…
What are the car seat laws in Utah?
What about the Utah seat belt law for adults?
How about the penalties?
We’re going to look into this and more.
So let’s get to it!
Car Seat Laws in Utah
The Utah car seat law states…
“All children 8 years old and under must be PROPERLY secured in an approved child safety restraint system unless they are 57 inches tall (that’s 4ft, 8in).”
That’s simple enough.
But here is where it gets a bit confusing — different safety restraint systems should be used based on the child’s age, weight, and height.
Let’s look at this in detail.
- Rear-facing car seats — required for children 2 and under that weigh less than 30 pounds. Since this is the safest car seat, it’s best to use it until the child reaches the height and weight limit of the car seat.
- Forward-facing car seats — required for children 2-4 years old and weighing less than 40 pounds. Again, it’s best to keep the child in the forward-facing car seat until they reach the manufacturer’s height and weight requirement.
- Booster seats — required for children 4-8 years old and that weigh 40 pounds. Continue using the booster seat until the child can properly fit a seat belt.
- Seatbelts — Once the child reaches 8 years old, they are allowed to use a seat belt. However, it’s best to keep them in a booster seat until they turn 12 years old, reach a height of 4ft, 9in, and can properly fit the seat belt.
Car Seat Penalties in Utah
The Utah car seat laws are primary enforcement.
This means a law officer can pull you over if they see a child unrestrained in your moving vehicle.
For your first violation, you may just get a warning.
But for second and subsequent violations, you will receive a citation that will cost you around $45.
You may be given a chance to waive the fine by attending an online safety belt safety course.
Child Car Seat Facts
Here are some other child car seat facts you should know about:
- All child safety restraint systems must be installed in the back seat for extra protection. However, if you must install it in the front passenger seat, there should be no airbag, or the airbag is manually turned off.
- If your child must ride in the front passenger seat and you cannot turn off the airbag, make sure that the vehicle seat is as far back as possible.
- The car seat should be installed properly to work properly. Make sure that you follow the manual guidelines carefully. If not, you can make a professional install it for you.
- The car seat must be FMVSS-approved as you can ensure that it is crash tested. Check the labels to see if it meets the standards.
- Car seats can save lives. In car crashes, at least 500 children under 5 years old are injured and 10 are killed. These stats are significantly reduced if the child is in the proper car seat for their age and weight.
- You do not need to use a car seat in public transportation, motorcycles, and any vehicle that is exempted from having seat belts.
- Car seats need to be replaced. As much as you want to use the same car seat for all your children and grandchildren, car seats don’t last. Even if there is no obvious damage, car seats suffer wear, which can reduce the effectiveness of the harness over time.
Utah Seat Belt Law
The Utah seat belt law is very simple.
“The driver and ALL passengers above 8 years old must properly wear a seat belt, regardless of where they are seated.”
In some states, seat belts are only required for those seated in the front.
But not in Utah.
Here, everyone is required to wear a seat belt, whether you’re in the front or back.
Seat Belt Penalties in Utah
Like the car seat laws, the Utah seat belt law is primary enforcement.
As we saw, this means that a law officer can pull you over for simply not wearing a seat belt.
The penalties are similar, too.
You will be given a $45 fine or have to attend a safety belt safety course.
Subsequent offenses can lead to fines of up to $100.
But who has to pay the fine?
The driver or the passenger?
In Utah, the driver is the one responsible — so they are the ones fined.
Seat Belt Facts
Now, let’s look at some seat belt facts:
- In Utah, average seatbelt usage is at 82%, compared to the national average of 86%.
- Many people believe that using a seatbelt can lead to more injury in a crash. However, seat belts help by distributing the force of an impact across the strongest parts of the body.
- The chances of being killed in a car crash increase 23 times more when you are thrown out. Seat belts save lives because it keeps you in your seat.
- Proper seatbelt usage reduces the chance of fatal injury by 45%, and moderate to critical injury by 50%. So don’t place the chest harness over your shoulders. Always wear seat belts properly.
- Even if you are going at 40 mph, you are not exempted from a car crash. So always wear your seat belt no matter how slow you go.
- A lot of car accidents happen just 25 miles from a person’s home. So never think that you don’t have to wear a seat belt if you are just driving nearby.
- A seat belt can keep you from knocking yourself unconscious. This way, you will be able to get out of the car if there is a fire or it is submerged in water.
It’s very important to obey the Utah car seat laws and seat belt laws.
It can literally save lives.
So the next time you go out, no matter how slow you plan to drive or how near your destination is, put on your seat belt.
As for your children, make sure they are in the proper child safety restraint system.
And even if you never get into a car crash — it’s much better to be safe than sorry.
Plus, you won’t have to pay the penalty fines.
Be a responsible driver!