Q:

When did seat belts become mandatory?

A:

Quick Answer

Seat belts became mandatory in the United States on Jan. 1, 1968, by passage of federal law Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. This law was for all vehicles, with the exception of buses.

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Full Answer

The federal law mandating seat belts has since been modified to include the type of seat belt and in which position it is to be fitted. The law has also undergone different amendments at the state level. Current seat belt laws vary by state in type of offense, terms of enforcement, fines and the ages for whom the law applies.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    When did it become a legal requirement to wear seat belts?

    A:

    The initial effective date of seat belt legislation varies according to the state. New York was the first to make seat belts a legal requirement for adults and non-infant passengers on Dec. 1, 1984. Other states followed over the next 10 years with Maine becoming the last state on Dec. 26, 1995.

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  • Q:

    What law governs sitting in the front seat?

    A:

    In the United States, the laws concerning riding in the front seat of cars are collectively referred to as child passenger safety laws. The federal government recommends all states to have laws restricting the ability of minors to ride in the front seat, but states have the authority to establish their own rules. In many locations, children are ineligible to ride in the front seat of a car until they reach a certain age, height or weight.

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  • Q:

    Is a seat belt ticket a moving violation?

    A:

    A seat belt ticket is not a moving violation in most states; however, child safety restraint laws are closely related to seat belt laws, reports DrivingLaws.org. New York is an example of a state in which a seat belt ticket can be both a moving and a non-moving violation.

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  • Q:

    How old do children need to be to ride in the front seat?

    A:

    To ride in the front seat, children must be at least 13 years of age and they must be properly buckled. Never sit a young child in front of an air bag or in the front seat while in a rear facing car seat.

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