Children And Safety Belts

As parents, we want to make sure that we are following the law and protecting our children. So, what is the law on children and safety belts?Michigan state law requires that babies from birth to age 4 must be properly restrained in a car seat, while children ages 4 to 16 must wear a seat belt no matter where they are riding in the vehicle.

MCL 257.710d applies to children less than age four. It provides that each driver transporting a child less than 4 years of age in a motor vehicle shall properly secure that child in a child standard restraint system.

MCL 257.710e applies to children ages four years to less than 16 years. If provides that the driver and front seat passenger shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt. It also provides that each driver transporting a child 4 years of age or more but less than 16 years of age shall secure the child in a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt.

If the driver does not comply with the law in securing the child, he will be given a ticket or civil infraction, but he will not receive any points. If there aren’t enough safety belts and the front seat and other passengers are in compliance, then the driver will not be ticketed. Likewise, if the vehicle is a pickup truck without an extended cab or jump seats, and all safety belts in the front seat are being used, the driver may transport such a child in the front seat without a safety belt. Furthermore, there are exceptions for children who are nursing and for buses, taxis, mopeds, motorcycles, or other motor vehicles not required to be equipped with safety belts under federal law or regulations.

Finally, the failure to wear a safety belt may be considered evidence of negligence and may reduce the recovery for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or operation of a motor vehicle.

For a site that provides the basic seat belt law in your state, visit

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