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State of Massachusetts Safety Seat Belt Laws

Safety Belts Save Lives in Boston Mass
Safety belts are a proven lifesaver in a vehicle accident, but many people still do not put them on when they get into a car. Statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that seat belt use actually declined in 2011. A study in Massachusetts showed that the use of seat belts in 2011 would have saved 27 lives, prevented more than 1,000 injuries during vehicle accidents and saved more than $260 million in health expenses.

State of Massachusetts Safety Belt Laws
With very few exceptions, every individual – man, woman and child – who travels in a vehicle in the state of Massachusetts must wear a safety belt. This applies to both the front seat and back seats. For children under the age of 12, strict child safety seat regulations apply. A driver and all passengers age 16 and older who are not wearing seat belts may be fined $25 each, and the driver can also be fined $25 per passenger ages 12 to 15 who is not wearing a safety belt as well.

Exception to the Safety Belt Laws in Massachusetts
While seat belt laws are far-reaching and encompass a large number of people, there are a few exceptions. One exception to the seat belt rule is for individuals with documented disabilities that keep them from physically putting on a seat belt while in a vehicle. Other exceptions include drivers and riders in cars and trucks made prior to July 1966; drivers of taxis, tractors, buses and trucks that weigh 18,000 pounds or more, not including drivers of commercial vehicles like 18-wheelers; individuals riding in emergency vehicles; policemen and firemen; and members of the U.S. Postal Service while delivering mail in a working vehicle.

Child Safety Belt and Safety Seat Laws in MA
Children under the age of 8 or under 57 inches tall must be restrained in an approved child safety seat, whether that is an infant seat, convertible car seat or secured booster seat. Passengers between the age of 8, or who are at least 57 inches tall, must wear safety belts at all times. All child seats must have a visible sticker proclaiming that they meet all federal safety standards and must be securely attached to the vehicle by seat belt or LATCH system restraints.