Each state has specific laws requiring seat belt usages. Alaska is
no different. If you intend to drive in this state, it is important to
understand who is required to wear a seat belt in your vehicle. If you
and your passengers don’t obey Alaska seat belt law, you could be
facing fines or worse.
State Law Statute
Until recently, drivers could only be given an Alaska seat belt
ticket if they were pulled over for another reason. This is called a
secondary law. However, beginning in May of 2006, Alaska seat belt law
became a primary law. That means that a police officer can pull you
over for no other reason other than you not wearing a seat belt. By
implementing this law, is it estimated that seven lives are saved every
year, and an additional 102 people avoid serious injuries.
Fines for not Wearing a Seat Belt
Fines for not following Alaska seat belt law are expensive for both
adults and children in violation. As the driver, it is your
responsibility to make sure that everyone is buckled up. For adults
(anyone over the age of 16) not wearing a seatbelt, you’ll be fined $15
per person. Fines are higher – up to $50 – for children not in proper
Alaska safety restraint systems, and in addition, you have to show
proof or purchase for the correct child seat belt system within 30
Who is Required to Wear a Seat Belt
In Alaska, seat belt requirements are actually fairly strict.
Everyone, regardless of age, must wear the correct kind of seat belt.
If you are over 16, you are considered an adult, but no matter where
you sit in the vehicle, you must wear your seat belt. Police officers
can pull you over for this alone.
Children are, of course, required to wear seat belts, use booster
seats, or use car seats. Children under four must be in a car seat or
booster seat, and it is usually a good idea to continue to use a car
seat or booster seat until the child is 8 or weighs more than 80
Child Seat Info
There are three types of seats that children in Alaska can use to
stay safe in the car. First, you can purchase a rear-facing car seat.
There are typically best for infants and should never be placed in the
front seat. Between the ages of 0 – 4, a child must be in a car seat,
but when the infant seat is too small, you should use a regular car
seat. Make sure that the car seat is right for your child’s age and
When your child is old enough, a booster seat is also recommended. This
can take the place of a car seat for larger children, and it is
recommended that you use this kind of Alaska safety restraint system
until the child it 8 years old or weighs at least 80 pounds. Law does
not require this, but is the best way to keep you child unharmed during
Reasons for Using
Alaska law doesn’t require child safety belt systems and adult seat
belts in order to make money or cause problems for drivers. These
devices really can keep you safe. According to one study, Alaska seat
belt law prevented over 100 deaths and injuries in Alaska.
Keep in mind that using your set belt also instills good habits into
any children riding with you. If your child gets used to using a seat
belt early in life, this will stick with him or her as an adult as
well. Using a seat belt is important for all ages.
Types of Seat Belts
Currently, the most common type of Alaska seat belt is the
three-point belt. This includes and lap strap and shoulder strap that
buckle at the waist to one side. In some older vehicles, you might find
just lap belts, especially in middle seats and back seats. These
generally put you at a higher risk for injuries like cracked ribs and
internal bleeding, so they are not recommended.
With an Alaska child seat belt, you might also find a harness design.
These are the safest options, and car manufacturers are actually
beginning to design cars to have harness seat belts for adults as well.
Harnesses are used in race cars and provide even more protection than
the three-point belt.
How to Use with Children
If you’ll be driving with children in your car, it is important to
understand how to use child safety belt systems correctly. Until the
child is four years old, he or she must use a federally approved car
seat or booster seat. Directions for installing these seats can be
found with your purchase, but if you are having any trouble at all,
call the Alaska DMV. There are a number of locations throughout the
state that can professionally install the car seat or booster seat to
ensure your child is safe.