Seat belt laws: Click It or Ticket!
Washington state laws require that everyone in a motor vehicle wear a fastened seat belt. The fine for not wearing a seatbelt or appropriate child restraint costs $124.
Washington's Seat Belt Law (RCW 46.61.688) states that:
- Every person 16 years or older operating or riding in a motor vehicle must wear a safety belt that is securely fastened.
- No person may operate a motor vehicle unless all child passengers under the age 16 are either wearing a safety belt or are securely fastened in an approved car seat.
Washington's Child Passenger Restraint Law (RCW 46.61.687) states that:
- Children up to age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.
- Children ages 2-4 years must ride in a car seat with a harness (rear or forward facing).
- Children 4 and older must ride in a car or booster seat until they are 4' 9" tall.
- Children over height 4' 9" must be secured by a properly fitted seat belt (usually starting at 8-12 years old).
- Children up to age 13 must ride in the back seat when practical to do so
For the best protection, a child should remain in each stage of restraint until they reach the maximum height and weight based on the manufacturer’s instructions.