Written by attorney Bill Powers

North Carolina Traffic Ticket SEATBELT & Child Restraint Information

Ages/Positions Covered: >> Children less than age 16 in front or back seats are covered under the NC Child Passenger Safety law.

Drivers and passengers 16 years old and older are covered by the NC Seat Belt Law.

Vehicles Covered: >> All vehicles required by federal standards to have seat belts are covered. All passenger cars manufactured after 1967 are required by federal regulations to have seat belts and are covered by the NC Child Passenger Safety Law. Vans, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles manufactured after 1971 are required to be equipped with belts and are also covered by the NC Child Passenger Safety Law. There are no exemptions for vehicles registered in other states or vehicles driven by out-of-state drivers.

Restraint Required: >> A properly used child restraint device (CRD) is required if the child is less than 8 years old AND weighs less than 80 pounds. Most parents and other care givers will be able to comply by using belt-positioning booster seats for children between 40 and 80 pounds. The child must be within the weight range for the child restraint/booster seat and it must meet Federal standards in effect at time of manufacture.

Children may be secured in a properly fitted seat belt at age 8 (regardless of weight) OR at 80 pounds (regardless of age) - whichever comes first. Placing the shoulder belt under a child's (or adult's) arm or behind the back is both dangerous and illegal.

If no seating position equipped with a lap and shoulder belt to properly secure a belt positioning booster seat is available, a child who weighs at least 40 pounds may be restrained by a properly fitted lap belt only. WARNING: Belt-positioning booster seats can only be used with lap and shoulder combination safety belts. Belt-positioning booster seats must NEVER be used with just a lap belt.

Free Q&A with lawyers in your area

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer