The NJ Child Seatbelt Laws—Keep Your Child Buckled Up Properly
Despite the strict child safety restraint regulations, car accidents are a leading cause of fatal injuries for children 1–13 years of age.
Are you driving minors on the New Jersey roads? Complying with NJ child seatbelt laws can help you keep your kids safe and avoid serious consequences in the event of a crash. You can also dodge hefty fines and unpleasant visits to the court.
Let our simple guide introduce you to the basics of NJ seatbelt legislation, including:
- What type of restraint you need to use depending on your child’s age
- How much a seatbelt ticket for children costs
- Whether the ticket affects your driving record and insurance premium
- How you can contest your citation
The State of New Jersey demands that all motor vehicle occupants are properly buckled up. The same law applies to children. If you have minors in the car, make sure that they are in a car seat, booster seat, or wearing a regular seatbelt. Drivers are responsible for securing children, and they will be fined if they fail to do so.
While NJ enforces secondary seatbelt law for backseat passengers, it is a primary offense if children under 18 don’t wear a safety belt. Here’s the difference between these two types of enforcement:
- Primary seatbelt law enforcement—Police officers can pull you over to issue you a ticket if they notice that you are unbuckled
- Secondary seatbelt law enforcement—Police officers don’t have the authority to stop you only for not wearing a seatbelt. They need to register a primary offense as well
Children older than eight and taller than 57 inches can use a regular safety belt with both lap and shoulder belts on. If they meet the height requirement before turning eight, you can secure them with an adult seatbelt.
How you need to restrain your child depends on their age, height, and weight. Use the information below to find the right safety seat for your child:
|Under two||Weighing under 30 pounds||Rear-facing safety seat with a five-point harness|
|Under four||Weighing under 40 pounds||Rear-facing seat until they outgrow it and then a forward-facing seat with a five-point harness|
|Under eight||Shorter than 57 inches||Rear- or forward-facing car seat until they outgrow it and then a booster seat|
If there are no back seats in the car, you can install a proper restraint system in the front. The only exception is that a rear-facing seat shouldn’t be placed in the front seat if the passenger’s side airbag is active. You need to deactivate the airbag first to make this option acceptable.
Every car safety seat needs to meet federal standards, or you can get a ticket. The restraint system also must be installed properly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 41.7% of children between 40 and 59 lbs aren’t properly fastened in their car seats—which can lead to injuries or death if the crash occurs.
If you violate the child seatbelt law, you will need to pay a fine. How much it will cost you depends on the offense:
|An unbelted child who should be wearing a seatbelt||$46|
|An unrestrained child who should be in a car seat or booster seat||$75|
Note that not paying your ticket can result in a much higher fine.
New Jersey doesn’t categorize not wearing a seatbelt as a moving violation. You don’t need to worry about demerit points as the DMV won’t assign them to your driving record. Failing to buckle up also won’t bump up your insurance rate.
Do you have a good argument about why your child was not restrained? This can be a solid foundation for overturning a ticket.
Some valid reasons are:
- Your child unbuckled the seatbelt while you weren’t looking
- You have a physician’s note that your child shouldn’t wear a seatbelt
- The officer ticketed you even though you had a receipt that you had purchased the car seat an hour before
Arm yourself with a witness that supports your claim or provide proof if you can.
You need to present your case effectively and comprehensively. Are you uncertain that you can pull it off? Don’t stress because DoNotPay comes to the rescue! Sign up to our app and skip the hassle of writing an appeal. We’ll do it for you, and the whole process will last a couple of minutes!
Drafting an appeal was never easier—with DoNotPay, all you need to do is answer a few questions! We’ll generate a tailor-made, formal request for a ticket dismissal in no time. You won’t even have to deal with mailing it—we’ll do it in your stead!
Follow these steps and get your appeal in a snap:
- Open the DoNotPay app
- Search for Seatbelt Ticket
- Upload a photo of your citation
- Answer our chatbot’s questions regarding:
- Who made the offense
- What argument you want to present
- Which evidence you can provide—if any
Not all states in the U.S. have the same child seatbelt laws. Why risk getting a ticket when you can learn about different child regulations here:
|West Virginia||North Carolina||Minnesota|
Are you unsure about having to wear a seatbelt when you head to other states? DoNotPay enables you to have this information in the palm of your hand with our state-specific seatbelt guides:
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