New Jersey Passenger Safety Laws

NJ Seat Belt Laws

There are several laws that address the needs of child and adult passengers of motor vehicles in New Jersey. The reason why these laws exist is because the people most likely to suffer brain injuries from a crash are passengers. Children should be properly secured into their seats and adults should wear seat belts when they are traveling a motor vehicle. Drivers should adhere to important New Jersey traffic rules to avoid getting involved in accidents. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve if you have been injured due to another party’s negligence on the road.

Laws For Adult Passengers

New Jersey Passenger Safety LawsPassengers are required to buckle up even if they are sitting in the rear seat of the passenger vehicle. Any front seat passenger that fails to wear a seat belt can be charged with a primary offense. Back seat passengers that fail to wear a seatbelt can be charged with a secondary offense. 

People often get caught committing these offenses when police officers stop vehicles for reasons not related to seatbelts. Police officers are not allowed to stop vehicles when they spot a passenger not wearing a seat belt. But they can stop the vehicle for other offenses and in the process discover that a passenger is not wearing a seat belt. For example, a police officer may stop your vehicle for failing to signal and also end up ticketing a passenger in the car that is not wearing a seatbelt.

Child Passenger Laws

These laws apply for school buses, vans, or automobiles in New Jersey. The following are the passenger safety rules for children:

  • Children under the age of 2 years that weigh 30 pounds must be secured in rear-facing seats that are equipped with 5 point harness.
  • Children that are less than 4 years old and weigh 40 pounds must be secured in rear-facing seats that are equipped with 5 point harness, and when they outgrow the seat they must be secured in a forward facing child restraint equipped with a 5 point harness
  • Children under the age of 8 and of a height of 57 inches must be placed in a rear-facing or forward facing seat that has 5 point harness, and if they outgrow those seats, they should be secured in a belt positioning booster seat.

It is recommended that children under the age 12 should ride in the back seat. A child should be secured as described above in the front seat if the vehicle does not have rear seats. Deactivate the airbag in the passenger side front seat before securing a rear-facing car seat to the passenger side front seat of a vehicle without rear seats. Parents should also avoid leaving their kids in hot cars for any period of time.

Is Your Child Ready To Use Adult Car Belts?

Most children ages 4 to about 10 need to use a booster seat.  But children of the same age may weigh differently and have different heights.  You can tell that your child is ready for an adult seatbelt if the child can sit all the way back in the seat. The child should also be able to bend their knees comfortably at the end of the seat. A child that can sit in that position the whole ride, is probably ready for a seatbelt.

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