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Texas Seat Belt Laws

 

 

Texas laws regarding seat belt use are contained in Transportation Code Chapter 545. There are fines and penalties for failing to use seat belts and separate provisions dealing with the transportation of minors.

Seat belts in Texas

In Texas, Everyone Must be Belted

Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to be belted. Adults and children, regardless of their position in the vehicle.

Penalties for wearing a seat belt under Section 545.413.

It is an offense to ride in a car while it is being operated and not be wearing your seat belt.

A fine can be not less than $25 or more than $250, but the real expense to people who fail to wear their seat belts is the cost of court and hassle factor. For instance, Harris County lists their total window fine for seat belts – adult at $125and $185 if a minor is not secured.

As many drivers understand, wearing a seat belt is vital to ensuring safety while on the road. However, while this is generally common practice, individuals should also consider the law regarding seat belt usage.

Child Restraint Requirements in Texas

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, as per the Transportation Code Chapter 545, the first thing to consider is child safety seat systems.  According to the law, the driver must ensure that children younger than eight years of age, unless the child is taller than 4ft 9in, must be secured with a safety seat system.

A child safety seat system not only includes car seats, no matter the type, but also refers to the restraints designed to keep the child within that seat.

To this extent, a child passenger safety seat system is “an infant or child passenger restraint system that meets the federal standards for crash-tested restraint systems as set by the National Highway Safety Administration.”

As one can imagine, seatbelts ensure that the probability of injury or wrongful death is significantly lessened in an unforeseen accident.

Drivers must make sure children are secured!

However, if a child is not properly secured in a safety seat, the violation would be considered a misdemeanor.

Not only does this affect one’s driving record, but it is also punishable by a fine, not less than $25 and no more than $250.

Rules for Child Seats!

As a whole, child safety seats should include the following:

  • Birth -1 year, up to 35 pounds: A rear-facing seat must be used, and the chest clip must be secured under the baby’s armpits. In addition, the harness must be fastened snugly against the baby’s body.
  • 1-4 Years, 20 to 40 pounds: A forward-facing seat may be used as per the safety seat manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • 4 – 8 Years, over 40 pounds: At this stage, a booster seat may be used.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 2.3 million adults were treated in emergency rooms because of car accidents in 2009. Estimated costs are over $70 billion annually for crash-related injuries and death.

Some not-so-surprising factors are that seatbelt use can reduce the severity of injuries and the likelihood of a fatality by over one-half. Many people do not wear seatbelts because they have airbags in their vehicles. Airbags are great extra protection but are not designed as a substitute for a safety belt.

The largest groups of people who do not wear seatbelts are those adults aged 18 to 34. Additionally, women are much more likely to wear their seatbelts than men.

Texas has done an admirable job in both enforcement of seat belt laws and also educating the public, which is a major step in efforts to reduce unnecessary injuries from accidents.

The “click it or ticket” slogan has proven very effective in letting people know that not wearing a seatbelt is against the law and can result in a fine.

Have Questions About an Injury Accident?

If you have questions about an injury car accident, call the Baumgartner Law Firm and speak with a top car accident lawyer in Houston.

Call (281) 587-1111!

Please buckle up!

 

Greg Baumgartner

attorney greg baumgartner

Greg Baumgartner has practiced personal injury law since 1984. He holds not one but two law degrees and is a graduate of Trial Lawyers College. He is licensed in Texas and Colorado. Mr. Baumgartner has earned a reputation for exemplary results for his clients. And has been preeminent rated for decades and recognized by Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Expertise, Newsweek, Houstonia magazine, and many others. He has given educational talks to lawyers and many media interviews regarding personal injury cases.