Seat belts can help keep drivers and passengers safe. Unfortunately,
thousands of people never buckle up, causing many needless injuries and
deaths every year. In Arizona, there are very specific laws regarding
seat belts, so if you’re a driver in this state, it is important to
understand these regulations.
State Law Statute
There are some main Arizona seat belt laws that all drivers have to
obey in this state. First and foremost, all occupants in front seats
must have lap and shoulder belts adjusted and fastened when the vehicle
is moving. The only exception is for some middle seats, in which there
may not be a shoulder belt – in this case, the lap belt must still be
The second part of this law has to do with minors. It is especially
important that anyone under the age of 16 be wearing a seat belt, and
it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that. Adults in front seat
positions can be issued their own tickets, but the driver will be
issued citations for all children not wearing their seat belts.
Fines for Not Wearing a Seat Belt
In Arizona, your fines will depend on how many people in the vehicle
are not wearing seat belts when you are pulled over. In most cases, the
first offense will result in a $10 fine per person. Arizona is a
secondary seat belt law state, though, meaning that you can’t be pulled
over just for not wearing your seat belt. You have to be pulled over
for another offense first.
In addition, penalties for children not in safety seats even though
they are under the age of five, will be charged an addition fine
(minimum of $50) unless they show that the vehicle in question was
subsequently equipped with a property safety seat for the child.
Who is Required to Wear a Seat Belt
In Arizona, you must wear a seat belt if you are in the front seat.
That includes drivers. It is also that law that anyone aged 5 – 15 has
to be wearing a properly-adjusted seat belt, no matter where they are
This law does take into account that certain persons cannot be required
to wear their seat belts, even if they are in the front seat of a
moving vehicle. Those getting exemptions and anyone with a medical
disability who has a waiver and mail carriers. Children under the age
of 5 also do not have to wear conventional seat belts, but they must be
buckled into a child’s car seat appropriate for their size.
Child Seat Info
The Arizona seat belt laws are most strict when concerning children.
When you have a child in the car, you are ultimately responsible for
them as the driver. According to the child seat belt law in this state,
any child under the age of five has to be in a child safety seat, no
matter how big or tall they might be.
There are multiple kinds of seats, and it is important to use the right
kind with the right child. If you don’t, you could be given a citation
anyway because the child was still not using the property safety
restraint. Here are the different kinds of seats that Arizona parents
need to use:
- Used for children under 20 pounds and under 1 year old
- The seat must face the rear of the car
- All straps must be in place and snug
- Used for children under 40 pounds
- The seat can face the rear or the front
- All straps must be in place and snug
- Used for children 40 to 80 pounds
- Must use a harness or vest system or make use of the vehicle’s seat
If you’re confused about what kind of child safety belt system to use,
you can always contact the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety
for more information.
Reasons for Using
Research shows that every 13 minutes, someone is killed in an
automobile accident, and every nine seconds, someone is injured. At
lest one of those deaths in every four or five could have been
prevented had the person been wearing a seat belt. Thousands of lives
would be saved every year.
If that isn’t reason enough to use your seat belt, consider the
monetary benefits. Although $10 for a first offense doesn’t seem like
much, those fines begin to add up over time. In addition, if you are
involved in an automobile accident, your medical bills will cost, on
average, 50% more if you were not wearing your seat belt.
Types of Seat Belts
There are many types of seat belts. Most commonly, cars will have
should and lap belt systems that work together. Sometimes, especially
in older makes and models, the middle seats in the front and back of
the vehicles will only have lap belts to use as a safety restraint. The
problem with that is that lap belts by themselves are highly
ineffective. If possible, always purchase a car that has a three-point
system – one that includes both a lap and a shoulder belt.
There are also harness restraint systems, like those found in race car.
Although these are rare to be used for passengers, the child seat belt
system used for many booster seats is now a harness system, as
manufacturers have determined that these types of seat belts are
If you vehicle is out of date when it comes to seat belts, it is
important to have the car or truck retrofitted for proper safety
restraints. At one time, seat belts weren’t even included in some
seats, but today, the car you drive should have a good safety restraint
system for every passenger.
How to Use with Children
Many children are resistant to using seat belts. However, child seat
belt law says that anyone under the age of 16 must be using a seat belt
at all times. The key is to begin young, always insisting on a seat
belt so that it really becomes second nature.
However, remember that seat belts are made for adults. This is part of
the reason why children sometimes feel uncomfortable wearing them.
Booster seats are important, and remember, small children might want to
continue using them beyond the age of five to help with seat belt