Idaho State Law Statue
“Click it, Don’t Risk it” is the saying you will see in Idaho to try
to get everyone to follow statute code, 49-673.
Basically, occupants of a motor vehicle of not more than 8,000 pounds
and manufactured with safety restraints in compliance with federal
motor vehicle safety standard #208, shall have a safety restraint
properly fastened about his/her body at all times when the vehicle is
Fines for Not Wearing Seat Belts in Idaho
- $10 citation will be issued to all adult violators, 18 years and
older, in any seating position
- $10 citation will be issued to all adult drivers with any occupants
under the age of 18 years that are not belted.
- $10 citation plus court, costs which is a total of $42.50, will be
issued to drivers under 18 years old that have occupants under the age
of 18 years that are not properly restrained.
Who is Required to Wear a Seat Belt in Idaho?
The answer is simple - everyone has to be in some type of safety
restraint. Infants should be in rear-facing infant seats,
children less than 20 to 40 pounds in a forward-facing child safety
seat, children 40 to 80 pounds in booster seats. Children that
have outgrown the booster seat, are 80 to 100 pounds, and younger than
the age of 13, should wear a seat belt in the rear seat of the
vehicle. Anyone over 100 pounds and age 13 should wear a seat
belt when driving or riding in the car.
Child Seat Information
As your children grow, you need to be aware of the different types
of car seats that are required. The booster seat is probably the
easiest one to use, but it is not appropriate for children that weigh
less than 40 pounds. Do not sacrifice safety for
convenience! Hand-me-downs do save money, but you should never
use a car seat that is more than 6 years old, does not have any of the
direction stickers for proper use, or has been in a crash. To
keep children safe you should abide by the following:
- Rear-Facing Infant Seats – Birth to 20 pounds and under 1 year
- Forward-Facing Child Safety Seats – 20 to 40 pounds
- Booster Seats – 40 to 80 pounds
If you are a new mother or father, you might feel more comfortable
looking at your newborn. If you want to look at your baby, ask
someone else to drive and sit in the back seat! Never, never put
a child’s car seat in the front seat! The air bag will definitely
injury them and even if you can turn the air bag off, it is not
safe! Keep children in the back seat.
Reasons for Using a Seat Belt
The leading cause of death for people 4 to 33 years old is motor
vehicle accidents. The Idaho Transportation Department has reported
that every day 5 Idahoans are either killed or seriously injured in
traffic crashes. In the past six years, more than two-thirds of
those killed in Idaho were not properly restrained. Are you going
to become one of those statistics? Using seat belts can prevent
these injuries/fatalities. Most people think that 35mph is not
very fast. The force of a crash at 30-35mph is equivalent to
jumping from a three story building. It only makes sense to wear
the seatbelt. I doubt that you would like to be the one
responsible for one of your passengers being injured or killed because
they didn’t wear their seatbelt. Before you move the car an inch,
your passengers should be buckled in.
The seat belt prevents the body from being ejected from the car.
It spreads the forces of impact over a wide area of the body that is
also the strongest part of your body. Head and spinal cord
injuries are reduced by 85% while using an air bag/seat belt
combination. It does not matter who you are or how good of a
driver you are. Accidents can happen to anyone because you do not
have control of other people who might have been speeding, distracted,
tired, or drunk.
If you always wear your seat belt, then your children will learn from
this example. Make it a game with younger children – have them be
the seat belt police, making sure that everyone getting in the car has
their seat belt buckled before it starts moving. Children are
never too young to model exemplary behavior!
Types of Seat Belts
Regardless of the type of seat belt being used, it will only work if
it is used correctly. The lap belt should not be on your
stomach. It is properly positioned if it rests on your hip and
pelvis bones 2-4 inches below your waist. The shoulder strap
should rest on your collarbone and fit snuggly across your chest and
shoulder. Some vehicles have seat belt adjusters to help
correctly position the belt. Seat belt extenders can be purchased
from local car dealers.
- Lap – adjustable strap that goes over the waist.
- Sash – adjustable strap that goes over the shoulder.
- Lap and Sash – a combination of the lap and sash belt (2 separate
- Three-point – similar to the lap and sash but is one single
continuous length of webbing. This design helps spread out the
energy of the moving body in a collision over the chest, pelvis and
- Five –point harness – found in child safety seats and racing
cars. The lap belt is connected to a belt between the legs and
two shoulder belts (5 points of attachment to the seat). These
seats are safer but much more restrictive.
- Inertia reel – when not in use the belt retracts and is self
adjusting by individual passengers. The retractor reel lets out
the strap or pulls it back when necessary. If an accident occurs
the reel locks, which prevents the strap from coming out, and holds the
passenger in the car.
How to Use Seat Belts With Children
Children who are more than 80 pounds will have outgrown their
booster seats. This usually happens around 8 years. Most
children are anxious to get out of the booster seat, but resist their
pleas. Do not move them to just a seat belt until they properly
fit in the seat. Children can stop using the booster seat when they can
sit all the way back in the seat, with their feet on the floor, and the
seat belt hitting them across the chest and not the neck. All
children under the age of 13 years of age and less than 100 pounds
should ride properly restrained in the back seat.
Never put a child less than 100 pounds in front of an air bag –
injuries could occur when the air bag is inflated!