Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important things you can do as a driver or passenger. According to the CDC, seat belts help reduce auto accident injuries by almost 50%. And though it may seem intuitive, it’s important to be aware of all seat belt laws, especially since Arizona seat belt laws are often enforced and categorized differently from other states.
If you’ve already been injured in an auto accident in Arizona, contact the Phoenix auto accident attorneys at the Escamilla Law Group, PLLC. Our team of auto accident lawyers is here to help. We’ll explain Arizona seat belt laws and the facts to know below.
First, it’s important to understand how seat belt laws work in Arizona. Seat belt laws are categorized into two types: primary and secondary laws. Primary seat belt laws are those that allow law enforcement to make traffic stops and issue citations for drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts. In layman’s terms, this means that an officer can make a stop solely for a seat belt law violation without another reason, like a moving violation.
Regarding child passengers, Arizona is a primary enforcement state. If you’re driving in Arizona, ensure that all children aged 16 years and younger are wearing their seat belts. This primary enforcement also means that children under a certain age and height must be secured in a restraint system, such as a booster seat or car seat. If an officer in Arizona observes any of these seat belt law violations, they can stop the driver and issue a citation. Each citation may carry a penalty of $50.
In addition to primary seat belt laws, Arizona enforces secondary seat belt laws for adult drivers and passengers. Even though all drivers and passengers are required by law to wear seat belts, regardless of age, an Arizona officer cannot stop a driver based on seat belt law violations alone. However, if an officer stops a driver for another unrelated violation, like tailgating, speeding, or failure to yield, he or she can also issue a citation after observing a seat belt violation.
Passengers aged 16 and over may be issued individual citations for failing to wear seat belts while riding in the front seat. These penalty fines may vary.
Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) regulations regarding child restraint systems are each dictated by weight, height, and age. For example, Arizona state law requires all children under the age of 8 and under 4’9” in height to be secured in a child restraint device.
In addition, all child restraint systems must be installed in accordance with manufacturer specifications, including height and weight regulations. Child passengers in Arizona are only allowed to transition to seat belts when they reach age 8 and older. Again, due to primary Arizona seat belt laws, law enforcement can stop a driver for not securing a child properly.
Knowledge of Arizona seat belt laws and regulations is important for keeping you and your family safe on the road. When dangerous auto accidents occur, seat belt laws can prevent serious injuries and death. If you’ve been injured as a driver or passenger in an auto accident, contact our Phoenix auto accident attorneys at Escamilla Law Group, PLLC. Call us at (623) 562-3838 for a no-obligation free consultation and legal representation today.