RV Seat Belt laws

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Rides in an RV should be fun and lively. But if you are weighing fun over safety, think again.

You have plenty of sitting spaces in an RV, from sofas to dining and bunks. You can sit anywhere in your motorhome, however, you simply can’t ignore the RV seat belt laws while on the road.

If you are on the open road, you have to buckle up. But, we are aware that not everyone knows the RV seat belt laws as they tend to vary from state to state.

In this article, I will make it easier for you to follow RV seat belt laws. You can enjoy your life on the open road while being safe and secure at the same time.

RV Seat Belt State Laws

Seat belt safety, even the most luxurious motorhomes, is not different than it is in automobiles. But, not all states have the same seat belt laws for RVs.

In some states, it is only necessary for the front passengers to buckle up. While in others, all the passengers have to be strapped in, no matter where they’re sitting.

The NHTSA establishes the seatbelt laws and they largely depend on the state you’re in.

So, if you are traveling across state lines, you might find yourself breaking the seatbelt laws of the new region.

Hence, it is necessary to check the seatbelt laws of the state you’re traveling to beforehand so that you are never risking a ticket or your security.

Primary Vs. Secondary Enforcement

There are two types of seat belt laws: primary enforcement and secondary enforcement.

In primary enforcement, a law enforcement officer can stop the driver and ticket them for violating the seatbelt law.

On the other hand, the secondary enforcement law allows an officer to stop the driver for any other violation, such as speeding. Then, he can charge the driver if the seat belt law is being violated.

Moreover, if you are not in a state that observes secondary enforcement, you cannot be pulled over by an officer for not wearing a seatbelt, unless you’re breaking a different law.

RV Seat Belt Laws for all 50 US States

You have to wear a seatbelt in only 22 of the 50 US states, no matter where you are sitting in the RV.

Yet, there are a few exceptions in following the seatbelt laws. Although it is appreciable if everyone is wearing a seatbelt, sometimes it’s just not possible.

For instance, the elderly or sick can get a medical exemption from seat belt laws. However, they will have to provide a doctor’s note for the exemption.

Now, without further delay, let’s just right into the seatbelt laws of all 50 US states. This list will come in handy if you are always traveling across states.

The following states require all passengers to have seat belts strapped on:

Alaska (AK)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, school buses, newspaper/mail delivery, vehicles without safety belts

Fine: $15

Arkansas (AK)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, rural delivery, buses, vehicle models before 1968

Fine: $25

California (CA)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, emergency vehicles

Fine: $20

Colorado (CO)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Secondary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, buses, emergency vehicles, farm tractors, vehicles without

safety belts

Fine: $15

Delaware (DE)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, off-road vehicles, delivery vehicles, tractors

Fine: $25

Georgia (GA)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, newspaper delivery, off-road vehicles, vehicles for more than ten passengers, reversing or emergency vehicle, vehicle models before 1965

Fine: $15

Idaho (ID)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Secondary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, all belts in use, mail delivery vehicles more than 8,000 lbs, emergency vehicles

Fine: $10

Illinois (IL)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, mail delivery, reversing or emergency vehicles, vehicles without safety belts

Fine: $25

Iowa (IA)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, delivery service, buses, and emergency vehicles

Fine: $25

Kentucky (KA)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, mail delivery, farm vehicles more than 2,000 lbs, vehicles for more than ten people, trucks more than 12,000lbs, vehicle models before 1965

Fine: $25

Maine (MA)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, rural mail delivery, taxis, vehicles without belts

Fine: $25-$50

Massachusetts (MA)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Secondary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, rural mail delivery, taxis, buses, tractors, livery vehicles, trucks more than 18,000 lbs, emergency vehicles

Fine: $25

Montana (MT)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Secondary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, all belts in use, vehicles with frequent stops, special vehicles

Fine: $20

Nevada (NV)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Secondary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, rural mail delivery, taxis, buses, emergency vehicles, vehicles without belts, making frequent stops, or less than 15 mph

Fine: $25

New Hampshire (NH)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Secondary enforcement

Exemptions: taxis, school buses, antique vehicles, parade vehicles, vehicle models before 1968

Fine: $25

New Mexico (NM)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, rural mail delivery vehicles more than 10,000 lbs

Fine: $25 (minimum)

Oregon (OR)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, newspaper delivery, meter reader, all belts in use, taxis, transit vehicles, trash trucks, emergency vehicles, vehicles for more than 15 passengers, or without belts

Fine: $94

Rhode Island (RI)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, rural mail delivery, vehicles without belts, vehicle models before 1966

Fine: $75

South Carolina (SC)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, delivery service, all belts in use, school/public buses, vehicles for more than ten passengers, parade vehicles

Fine: $10

Utah (UT)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, all belts in use, vehicles without belts, vehicle models before 1966

Fine: $15-$45

Vermont (VT)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Secondary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, rural mail delivery, delivery of more than 15 mph, taxis, buses, farm tractors, emergency vehicles

Fine: $10

Washington (WA)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, all belts in use, farm vehicles, construction vehicles, vehicles for more than ten passengers, commercial cars with frequent stops

Fine: $101

Wyoming (WY)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Secondary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, mail delivery, all belts in use, buses, emergency vehicles

Fine: $10-$25

District of Columbia (DC)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Secondary enforcement

Exemptions: medical reasons, taxis, vehicles for more than nine passengers, farm vehicles, vehicle models before 1966

Fine: $50 (minimum)

Puerto Rico (PR)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: none

Fine: $50

US Virgin Islands (VI)

Seatbelt Law: All passengers

Law Type: Primary enforcement

Exemptions: none

Fine: $25-$250

The following states require only front-seat passengers to have seat belts strapped on:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

RV Seat Belt Laws for Children

If you are an RV driver, you must check if every rider is buckled up to ensure the safety of your loved ones. Being careless can be dangerous to the minor in the RV in case of an accident.

When it comes to minors, there are specific age groups that require seat belts on while sitting at the back of the RV.

Here’s a list of the US states in which minors of the following age groups must wear seat belts in a moving RV:

  • Arizona: 5-15
  • Connecticut: 4-16
  • Florida: 6-17
  • Hawaii: 4-17
  • Georgia: 6-17
  • Illinois: 8-15
  • Indiana: 4-11
  • Kansas: 4-14
  • Louisiana: 6-15
  • Michigan: 4-15
  • Minnesota: 4-10
  • Mississippi: 4-10
  • Missouri: 4-15
  • Nebraska: 4-18
  • New Jersey: 8-17
  • New York: under 15
  • North Carolina: under 15
  • North Dakota: 7-17
  • Oklahoma: 6-12
  • Pennsylvania: 8-17
  • South Dakota: under 18
  • Tennessee: under 16
  • Texas: under 17
  • Virginia: under 16
  • West Virginia: under 17
  • Wisconsin: 4-15

Alternative for Minors:

Concerned for the safety of your little ones?

If your children are fussy about putting on seat belts and won’t stay buckled up in their seats when the RV is on the move, then you might want to consider buying a towable RV.

This way, the children can travel in the truck, and spend time in the RV when the vehicle is parked in an RV parking lot.

Conclusion

In conclusion, safety should be your first priority. Many RV drivers take seat belt safety too lightly.

Moreover, they assume that their large vehicles won’t run in accidents. But, that is just a misconception.

Even if you are a good driver, you never know when another car would bump into yours without warning. Besides, you can’t be too careful on the open road when you have minors in the vehicle.

If it is too tricky for you to remember laws for each state, you can simply buckle up everyone in the seats while driving. It is better to be safe than sorry.