Learn How To Keep a Child From Unbuckling a Seatbelt
A child who, whether accidentally or intentionally, unbuckles their seatbelt can bring you a lot of trouble, from being issued a seatbelt ticket—which can cost between $10 and $500—to getting demerit points. Fortunately, with the right approach, you can prevent that moving violation from happening.
This guide provides tips on how to keep a child from unbuckling a seatbelt! With these tips, you’ll be able to go back on the road without any worries!
If your child is struggling to stay still in the car, try one of the following tips:
- Keep toys in your vehicle—The toys should be for the vehicle only, so your kid gets excited each time they get the chance to play with them
- Offer other types of stimuli—You can ask your kid whether they want to watch an episode of their favorite show while on the road. A spare tablet or phone will do the job
- Slice the bottom of a paper cup and pull the seatbelt through it—You can buckle the seatbelt, and the cup will fit perfectly over the clasp. A paper cup allows you to rip it in case of an emergency while preventing your child from fidgeting with the belt and unbuckling it
- Offer some on-the-road snacks—The child will especially appreciate a snacking ritual, for example, knowing you will go to Dunkin’ Donuts every time you go for a longer drive
Whichever method you opt for is more likely to work if you:
- Praise your child if they haven’t taken their seatbelt off
- Remind your kid that everyone has to buckle up as soon as they enter the vehicle—even if your state allows you to not wear a seatbelt in the back seat or at all—all passengers should buckle up to provide an excellent example for the kid
- Go back, park the vehicle, and remind your child that you’re not going anywhere until they buckle up
Teaching your child to keep their seatbelt on is important because of many reasons, such as:
- Your child is less likely to get severely hurt in case of an accident
- You avoid getting seatbelt tickets
- Your child learns how to be a safe passenger and driver in the future
- You don't risk having violations on your driving record that lead to higher insurance rates
If an officer pulls you over and discovers that you’re driving with a child without a seatbelt, you will:
- Get a seatbelt ticket
- Get three demerit points on your driving record
- Have to go to court if you fail to pay for the ticket until a specified deadline
If you end up getting a seatbelt ticket because your child unbuckled their seatbelt—don’t fret! You can check the options at your disposal in the table below:
|Ignore the ticket in hopes that the officer got your name and address wrong||This is unlikely to happen and puts you at risk of having to go to court and pay court fees on top of your ticket fine|
|Go to court to defend yourself||You can also ask a witness to join you, but it mustn’t be someone obviously close to you|
|Defend yourself in a trial by written declaration||A trial by written declaration does not require you to show up at court to defend yourself—you can present a written statement instead. States that allow trial by written declaration are:|
|Appeal your seatbelt ticket with DoNotPay||Our app can help you avoid lengthy court procedures and get your ticket dismissed. All you need to do is sign up and answer a few questions to get a personalized seatbelt ticket appeal letter!|
Suppose your child took their seatbelt off and an officer pulled you over. You got a seatbelt ticket, but it costs you an arm and a leg, and going to court is not an option. If you’re unsure what to do—try DoNotPay! Our app provides a straightforward process that results in a personalized appeal letter in a matter of moments!
To get started, follow these steps:
- Access your DoNotPay account
- Search for the Seatbelt Ticket feature
- Select “Kids”
- Provide more details about your ticket and attach a photo of it
As soon as you complete all steps, our app will generate your appeal letter and mail it directly to the ticket authorities on your behalf.
Do you want to learn about seatbelt laws for children in your state? Check the table below to find your state and get all the information you need:
|New York State||Arizona||Georgia|
|New Jersey||North Carolina||Missouri|
Once you complete the task at hand, you don’t have to stop there—we offer a myriad of products that can relieve you of the stress that comes with dealing with admin and legal hurdles.
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