In the past half-century, the automobile industry has witnessed a dramatic increase in car safety and accident prevention mechanisms. Probably the most effective and revolutionary safety measure was the invention of the seatbelt. The first federal law mandating the installation of seatbelts in all passenger vehicles, with a few exceptions, was passed in 1968. Shortly thereafter, the states began enacting laws that required passengers to comply with mandatory seat belt laws. The state of New York was a pioneer in passing the first state law in 1984 that required all occupants inside a vehicle to wear a seat belt.
Since 1984, almost all states have passed some kind of law requiring the use of seat belts in vehicles. The only state that where a driver does not have to wear a seat belt in accordance with the law is New Hampshire. All states have laws requiring children under a certain age to be restrained in a reasonably safe manner.
Connecticut follows the majority rule and makes driving without a seatbelt a primary offense. You can be pulled over based on your failure to wear a seatbelt. No other violation is necessary.
When driving in Connecticut, it is best to always wear a seatbelt and make sure that all of your passengers, regardless of age, are also wearing seatbelts. All persons riding in the front seat must wear a seatbelt no matter what their age is. Drivers are also responsible for making sure that all passengers under 16 are wearing their seat belt. Failure to comply may result in a $92 fine.
The law requires a seatbelt or an appropriate child safety restraint for children 4 to 6 years old that are riding in the back seat. All children less than 6 years old or that weigh less than 60 pounds must be securely fastened in a child safety seat. Newborns and infants are required to be securely fastened in a rear-facing child seat until they are 20 pounds or 1-year-old, whichever comes first. Once the child exceeds 60 pounds he or she must ride in a booster seat until it has been outgrown. If a person fails to abide by these car seat safety rules they could be ordered to complete a child seat education course or fined. For more information regarding seat belt laws and child safety restraints, visit the DMV site.
Even with seat belts and other vehicle safety measures, accidents inevitably happen. After an accident happens, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. The lawyers at Carter Mario are always available to talk to you about accident claims and personal injury lawsuits.