An Overview of Kentucky Seat Belt Laws

There is no question that there is very strong evidence between the safety of drivers and passengers of motor vehicles and seat belt laws.  As per Kentucky law, drivers and all passengers who occupy motor vehicles that were manufactured after 1965 are required to wear an appropriately adjusted and fastened seat belt on any roadway in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. An exception exists for a child who is properly seated in a child restraint system. Drivers are responsible for making sure that any passengers in their vehicle are properly and securely buckled up.

Child Restraint Systems

Kentucky defines a child restraint system as a device in conformity with federal motor safety standards that is manufactured for the purpose of transporting a child in a motor vehicle. As per Kentucky law, any child under the height of 40 inches is required to be secured in such a child restraint system while on a Kentucky roadway. The governing statute doesn’t address whether a child should be facing forward or to the rear or the age of the child for restraint system seat use. When a child reaches the height of 57 inches or is eight-years-old, he or she can sit in a regular adult seat belt.

Violations are a Primary Offense

Any Kentucky law enforcement officer can stop a vehicle and cite a driver for a failure to comply with the commonwealth’s seat belt or child restraint law. An underlying violation need not be established. Law enforcement agencies aren’t permitted to set up roadblocks solely for the purpose of checking on seat belt or child restraint compliance. If a roadblock is being maintained for another lawful purpose, a seat belt or child restraint violation can be cited.

Additionally, if an accident does occur and injuries arise, the lack of a seatbelt in an injury accident can impact the insurance company’s responsibility for coverage.

Proper Installation is Critical

Drivers should always remember that in order for them to work as intended, child restraint systems and booster seats must be properly installed. All drivers must carefully read and follow the installation instructions for restraint systems or booster seats.

The Evidence is Overwhelming

Whether you’re using a seat belt for yourself, a child restraint system or booster seat for your son or daughter, the evidence in favor of them is overwhelming. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of seat belts reduces the risks of injuries and fatalities in motor vehicle crashes by about 50%. Child restraint systems and booster seats have also been highly effective in reducing fatalities and hospital visits.

Leave a Reply