Seat Belt and Safety Seat Laws in Arkansas

Mother and daughter in car.
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Click It Or Ticket is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's yearly campaign to increase seat belt usage. It lasts for the few weeks surrounding Memorial Day Weekend. Here is the information you need to know from the Arkansas State Police about the initiative and seat belt laws in Arkansas. To find out more about national seat belt laws try Buckle Up America, the national "Click It Or Ticket" homepage.

Many local organizations also use this time period to check safety seats in cars to make sure they are installed properly so your kids can travel safely. ​Children's Hospital can assist you with this year round.

Why?

Between 1997 and 1999, twenty-five Arkansas children, ages infant to four years old, who were not buckled into a child restraint system were killed in traffic crashes that occurred on Arkansas streets and highways. Over 800 children under 4 were injured. Sixty-eight children between the ages of 5 and 15, none wearing seat belts, died in Arkansas traffic crashes. Had child safety restraints or seat belts been in place, many of these children could have been saved or escaped without injury.

What Is the Law?

Arkansas law requires all children under the age of fifteen years to be buckled-up with an appropriate safety restraint. Children under the age of 15 are required to be buckled in both the front and back seats.

Adults are only required to be buckled if they are in the front seats.

The car seat laws were changed in 2014.  Children younger than six years of age or weighing less than sixty pounds must be restrained in approved safety seats. Car seats should be installed properly.

In July of 2009, the law was changed to a primary offense law.

This means that law enforcement officers can stop vehicles and issue citations if they don't see the occupants wearing their seat belts. Previously, police had to have a reasonable cause other than a seat belt violation to stop a vehicle and cite a violator. Arkansas was the 27th state in the nation to adopt a primary-offense seat belt law.

What’s Different About These Few “Click It or Ticket” Weeks?

Over the course of the eight-day operation, law enforcement officers will use sobriety checkpoints and other enforcement techniques to impose the child safety seat and seat belt laws.

The ordinary law still applies, they will just be enforcing it more heavily. If police see an unrestrained child, they will be more likely to pull you over. On most other days, you have a good chance the officer wouldn't pull you over for only having an unrestrained child.

How Much Can I Be Fined?

The maximum per person fine for a seat belt violation is $25. Every passenger that is in violation can be fined.  A seat belt violation is usually not considered a moving violation, and usually is not reported to your insurance company.