State laws mandating the use of seatbelts in cars
Primary enforcement [of seat] belt use laws permit seat belt use law violators to be stopped and cited independently of any other traffic behavior.
Secondary enforcement laws allow violators to be cited only after they first have been stopped for some other traffic violation. 2-13) All new passenger cars had some form of seat belts beginning in 1964, shoulder belts in 1968, and integrated lap and shoulder belts in 1974 ([Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS)], 2001).
If the seat belt does not fit properly, the child should use a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt.
All passengers in the front seat must wear a seat belt.
All passengers under 18 must wear a seat belt Children 3 and younger must be secured in a federally approved child-restraint seat.
“As of July 2010, 31 States and the District of Columbia had primary belt use laws, 18 States had secondary enforcement laws, and New Hampshire had no belt use law applicable to adults (IIHS, [undated])” (UNC Highway Safety Research Center, 2011, p. Seat belt laws vary by whether they cover front-seat occupants only or include rear-seat occupants as well.
In a few states, seat belt use is a secondary law for drivers and passengers older than a specified age (varies by state) but a primary law for younger passengers.