Seat Belts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires the use of seat belts for all operators and passengers riding in a private passenger motor vehicle. Infants and children under the age of 5 who weigh less than 40 pounds must ride in federally approved child safety seats. Beginning July 10, 2008, all children between the ages of 5-7 must ride in child booster seats until they reach 4'9" in height. Between the ages of 8-12, children must be restrained by a safety belt when traveling in a motor vehicle. The safest place for any child, in any restraint system, is in the back seat of a car.

Drivers can be stopped and fined $25 by the police for each unrestrained child.

New Hampshire law requires that all children under 18 years of age must wear a seat belt or be secured in a child seat, properly adjusted and fastened, while a passenger in a motor vehicle on any highway in the State.

A child less than 6 years of age and less than 55 inches in height shall be properly fastened and secured in a child passenger restraint which is in accordance with safety standards approved by the United States Department of Transportation.

The driver of the motor vehicle is responsible to assure that all children are properly restrained, except in the following:

  • In a vehicle regularly used to transport passengers for hire.
  • In a school bus with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • In an antique vehicle or on a motorcycle.
  • If the child under 18 years of age has an individual education plan statement indicating that the use of restraints is not safe.