According to Utah’s Seat Belt Law, every child under the age of 8 must be in a child restraint device, such as a car safety seat. Furthermore, regardless of age, all passengers in a vehicle are expected to wear a seat belt while traveling.
As moms, we always strive to give our children the best, and nothing is more important than their safety. That’s why I prioritize their safety, especially when traveling in a car.
The NHTSA has shared that child safety seats can reduce fatal injuries by 71% for babies aged one and under and 54% for toddlers aged one to four. These statistics emphasize the crucial role of a properly installed car seat in protecting our children. As a mother, I can attest to the peace of mind of knowing my child is safe and secure in their car seat during our travels.
This article will explore the current and previous car seat laws in Utah. It will provide you with different programs to learn more about the car seat law and other information connected with keeping your child safe and protected during a trip.
Utah Car Seat Laws & Requirements [Rear Facing, Forward Facing, Boosters] – Car Safety & Car Seats Guides
Utah County’s Car Seat Law as of 2018
On January 1, 2018, the state of Utah decided to enact some revisions and changes to its previous Car Seat Laws. Let’s walk through these changes:
- Children under the age of eight must be restrained in a child safety device that is used in the manner specified by your car manufacturer.
- Kids should remain in a rear-facing car seat until the age of two. Following that, they should ride in a forward-facing seat appropriate for their age, weight, and height.
- After kids outgrow the forward-facing seat, they can transition to a booster seat until they are 8 and 57 inches tall.
- Children under the age of eight who are 57 inches tall or taller are excluded from the regulations. They should ride with a lap and shoulder belt without a booster seat.
- In Utah, seat belts are required for children aged 8 to 16.
Penalties for violating Utah’s Car Seat Laws
Like any other state or country, Utah has its own penalties when you violate its guidelines and regulations.
As of May 5, 2008, the law states that the driver will face a $45 fine for breaking the car seat law.
However, even if more than one individual violates the law, they will only receive one citation. It implies that the driver will only be fined once, even if two children are not fastened in their car seats.
Laws Concerning Children with Special Needs
In Utah, children with special needs must continue to travel in car seats. There are multiple sites where children with specific needs can get special car seats.
If you need assistance paying for these car seats, Shriner’s Hospital offers a special program that assists families in selecting the appropriate car seat.
Special Needs Car Seat Clinic at Shriner’s Hospital
Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City conducts a Special Needs Car Seat Clinic two Fridays a month for families with special needs children.
Clinical specialists certified by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration evaluate each child’s requirements.
They will try to look for a car safety seat that perfectly fits their child. They will also educate families on the correct car seat usage for each child’s medical condition and custom-fitting each car seat to the vehicle it will be used in.
Children under 18 can be referred to this clinic without being one of Shriners Hospital’s patients.
Utah’s Car Seat Laws for Public Transportation
In Utah, seat belts are not mandatory on public buses. Seat belts on Utah school buses may be mandated shortly. The House Transportation Committee moved a bill requiring seat belts on new school buses to the entire House for consideration. Nevertheless, Utah does not currently mandate seat belts on school buses.
When can a child sit in the front seat in Utah?
In Utah, according to state law, children under the age of eight must ride in a properly secured child restraint system, including car seats and booster seats. It is recommended that children remain in a booster seat until they reach 4’9″ tall, regardless of their age.
Additionally, Utah law requires that children under the age of 13 must ride in the back seat of a vehicle when it is practical to do so. However, this law has some exceptions, such as when the vehicle has no back seat or when all the back seats are already occupied by children under 13.
It’s important to note that while there is no specific age requirement for a child to sit in the front seat in Utah, it is recommended that children ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old. This is because airbags can pose a serious risk of injury to young children in an accident.
No Cellphones while driving Law in Utah
Using your cell phone while driving can cause accidents that will put you and your child in great danger. That’s why mobile phone usage while driving is strictly prohibited in Utah. The legislation permits a simple swipe or touches on a mounted device to allow the driver to view the road for emergencies or reporting risks or crimes.
Apart from that, cell phone usage while driving is not allowed in Utah. Drivers are not permitted to hold their phones and chat while driving, even if they are attempting to seek directions.
The sanctions vary based on the offense.
- If you did not cause any harm to anyone, you might face a Class C misdemeanor prosecution.
- However, if your mobile phone use causes substantial damage to another person or if you had a previous conviction within three years of the present conviction, you might face a class B misdemeanor penalty. It means you might face a $1000 fine and up to six months in prison.
Get free and discounted Car Seats here!
Since car safety seats can be really costly, Utah offers a few programs that assist parents in getting free or low-cost car seats.
The Salt Lake County Health Department sells new car seats for qualified families at a discounted price. Families must take a car seat lesson and show proof of qualifying income to qualify.
You must be at or below 195% of federal poverty. Depending on your family’s income and the type of car seat you require, car seat prices fall into the following ranges:
- Convertible seat: $30-$59
- High back booster seat: $15-$35
- Backless booster seat: $13-$28
- Specialized weight seats 50: $46 to $90.
- Specialized weight seats 65: $76 to $148.
To know more about this program, contact the Salt Lake County Health Department at 385-468-4100.
A child restraint device, such as a car seat, must restrain any child under eight. Additionally, all passengers in a vehicle, regardless of age, must wear a seatbelt during their trips.
Everything you need to know regarding the new and updated Utah Car seat laws is provided in this article. Make sure to read everything carefully, as you don’t want to pay any fines or have a record of violations, but most importantly, you don’t want to risk your child’s life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do children in Utah need to use a belt-positioning booster seat?
Despite outgrowing their car safety seat, children still need to be longer for an adult seat belt and will not be sufficiently protected by a seat belt alone. The booster seat ensures optimum placement of the lap and shoulder belts.
Your car type determines the sort of booster seat you should buy. You should get a backless booster seat if your car has rear seats with headrests. You should purchase a high-back booster seat if you have a vehicle with a low seat back, such as a minivan, truck, SUV, or station wagon.
You can also find a booster seat with a replaceable harness system or back. This is useful if you want to use it until your child no longer requires it or if you have a car with low seat backs but wish to upgrade to a vehicle with head support later.
What if the back seats just have lap belts?
If there are no lap and shoulder belts available, a kid can be confined with a correctly fitting lap belt. Children should be restrained in a child restraint until they outgrow the harness system, which usually occurs when they reach the weight of 40 pounds.
What are the law’s exceptions?
The following people are excluded from the law:
- Children under the age of eight who are at least 57 inches tall.
- Children weighing more than 40 pounds who are traveling in cars without lap and shoulder belt placements in the back seat,
- Seat belts are not needed in vehicles manufactured before 1967, such as buses and automobiles.
- When all seat belt places are occupied, children can ride unrestrained.
- Passengers who have received written confirmation from a doctor that they are unable to use a seat belt due to physical or medical reasons.