Washington Seat Belt Law Requires:
- All vehicle occupants must be properly restrained in all seating positions.
- The driver is responsible for properly securing all children under the age of 16.
- Passengers 16 years of age and older are responsible for themselves. They may receive their own citation if they are not properly restrained.
- Buckling one seat belt around two people or placing the seat belt under the arm or behind the back is dangerous, can cause death or serious injury, and is a violation of the law.
Effective June 1, 2007, Washington’s Child Restraint Law
changed to require:
- Children under 13 years old be transported in the back seat where it is practical to do so.
- Children up to their 8th birthday, unless they are 4’9″ tall (which ever comes first), must ride in a child restraint. (For example – a child car seat, booster seat, vest, or other restraint that is federally approved for use in the car.)
- The restraint system must be used correctly according to the car seat AND vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.
- Vehicles equipped with lap-only seat belts are exempt from the requirement to use a booster seat.
- Children 8 years of age or at least 4’9″ who wear a seat belt MUST use it correctly (never under the arm or behind the back) or continue to use a booster.
- The fine for improperly restrained children in motor vehicles is at least $112 per child.
Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions and guidelines for both the child restraint and the vehicle. For more information on choosing the safest seat for your child, please call 1-800-BUCK-L-UP.