Seatbelts

Seat Belt Law
MN Stat 169.686

  • Law applies to all front-seat occupants and all children under the age of 11 years regardless of position
  • Children over three and under 11 must be in a safety seat or seat belt (driver is responsible)
  • Belts must be used properly (lap belt snug over lap, not abdomen; strap across shoulder, not under arm)
  • Belts must be present as produced by manufacturer
  • Driver or passengers 15 years or older are subject to a $25 fine and may be cited separately
  • Driver must be stopped or detained for a moving violation before a citation can be issued
  • Driver may not be ticketed for a violation by a front-seat passenger over 11 and under 15 if the passenger is not the driver's child

Exceptions:

  • Persons driving in a vehicle in reverse
  • Person riding in a vehicle in which all seating positions equipped with safety belts are occupied by other people
  • Person who has in their possession a written certificate from a licensed physician stating that for medical reasons, wearing a safety belt is inadvisable
  • Person actually engaged in work that requires frequent alighting and reentering and who, while engaged in the work, travels in the vehicle at speeds no more than 25 m.p.h.
  • Person driving or riding in a vehicle made before 1/1/65
  • A rural mail carrier of the U.S. Postal Service while in the performance of duties
  • Person riding in a pickup truck (carrying capacity of 3/4 ton or less) engaged in normal farming work or activity

Instruction Permit & Provisional License Laws
MN Stats 171.05 & 171.055

  • A driver under 18 with an instruction permit or a provisional license must have every occupant under 18 in a seat belt or child passenger restraint system
  • Driver is subjected to a $25 fine and must be stopped for a moving violation before a citation can be issued

Child Passenger Restraint Law
MN Stat 169.685

  • Children under four must be secured in a safety seat that meets federal safety standards
  • Safety seats must be installed and used according to the manufacturer's instructions:
  • Child must be secured in the safety seat
  • Seat must be secured to the vehicle with a seat belt
  • Infants (under 20 pounds) must be in a rear-facing safety seat
  • Law applies to all motor vehicles originally equipped with factory-installed seat belts
  • Law applies to all seating positions
  • Driver is responsible
  • Petty misdemeanor fine for violation is $50 (may be waived if violator shows proof of obtaining a safety seat within 14 days)
  • Applies to both residents and non-residents of Minnesota
  • Suspected non-use is a valid basis to stop a motor vehicle

Exceptions:

  • Children riding in emergency medical vehicles, when medical needs make use of a restraint unreasonable
  • Children riding in a motor vehicle for hire, including a taxi, airport limousine or bus, but excluding a rented, leased or borrowed motor vehicle
  • Children riding with a peace officer on official duty, when a restraint is not available (a seat belt must be substituted)
  • Children certified by a licensed physician as having a medical, physical or mental disability that makes restraint use inadvisable
  • Passengers in school buses

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