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Alaska Seat Belt law

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 days

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 pounds.

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 weight.

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 an accident.

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.

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