Seat belts and child safety seats offer extraordinary protection in an auto accident against death and serious injury. Because of this, North Carolina has laws in place for the use of seat belts and safety seats to help protect individuals when they use roadways. These laws hold drivers and passengers accountable for knowing and abiding by them.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety explains that officers may issue tickets directly to anyone age 16 or older in a vehicle who is not using the proper restraint system. For those under the age of 16, the driver holds the responsibility.

Seat belt law

The state holds a strict view of seat belt use, requiring everyone in a vehicle to wear a seat belt. This includes both front and back seat passengers. The seat belt must be worn properly as well. Not wearing one part of the belt or wearing a part incorrectly will result in a ruling that a person is not wearing a seat belt at all.

Child seats

Children who cannot use seat belts properly must be in a safety seat of some type, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety explains that any child who weighs under 80 pounds or who is not eight years old must be in a safety seat. If the child is under the age of five or weighs under 40 pounds must be in the back seat if possible.

For children that meet the weight and age limits, the law requires seat belt use at all times when in the vehicle.