girl in car seat

With driving laws differing so widely from state to state, it can be hard to keep track of every single rule. If you have questions, you’re not alone. To help clear up some of the confusion, here are answers to five commonly asked questions about buckling up in Idaho.

Is it true that I can be fined for not buckling up in Idaho?

Yes! While it’s true that driving without a seat belt is not a primary offense in Idaho (meaning you can’t be pulled over for it), you can still be fined for it. If you’re pulled over for speeding or any other primary offense and the officer finds you are not wearing a seat belt, he or she can issue a $10 fine for driving without proper restraints. Drivers under 18 will be charged for court fees in addition to that $10, bringing the total fine to about $52. Parents who are caught driving without their children properly restrained could pay as much as $79 for their first offense.

What are the laws about child restraints?

Idaho requires that children 6 years old and younger are properly secured using a child safety restraint. Babies under the age of one (or older children under twenty pounds) must be in a rear-facing car seat. Children from the ages of one to six should be in a forward facing seat or booster seat.

Are there any exceptions to these laws?

Yes. Idaho state law allows for children to sit on a passenger’s lap in the back seat if all other seat belts are in use. Children may also be removed from their safety restraint and held by an adult if they need to be nursed or fed.

What if I’m not sure that my child is properly restrained?

With so many laws and regulations about child restraints, it’s easy to get confused. If you have any questions about car safety for your children, there are safety inspection stations in Idaho that can help you find specific answers. Click here to find an inspection station near you and set up an appointment.

I’m a safe driver. Are seat belts really that important?

Absolutely. It’s no exaggeration to say that seat belts save lives. In 2014, 67 Idahoans were killed in car crashes while not wearing a seat belt. Experts estimate that half of those people would have survived if they had been buckled up. According to the Idaho Transportation Department, the 20% of Idahoans who do not wear their seat belts accounted for 55% of fatalities on the road in 2014. Don’t risk it. Buckle up.

For more information about seat belt laws in Idaho, visit drivinglaws.org, or read The Cold Hard Facts Regarding Idaho’s Seat Belt Law or the most recent report from the Idaho Transportation Department.

Photo courtesy of Miranda Gabbard and Flickr

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