Child Passenger Safety

347.48
347.48 Safety belts and child safety restraint systems.
347.48(1)
(1) Safety belts required.
347.48(1)(a)

(a) No person may buy, sell, lease, trade or transfer a motor vehicle other than an automobile at retail from or to Wisconsin residents unless the vehicle is equipped with safety belts installed for use as required under 49 CFR 571, and no such vehicle may be operated in this state unless such belts remain installed.

347.48(1)(b)
(b) No person may buy, sell, lease, trade or transfer an automobile that is required under 49 CFR 571 to be equipped with safety belts from or to a resident of this state unless the front designated seating positions of the automobile are equipped with safety belts installed for use as required under 49 CFR 571 and unless each rear outboard designated seating position of the automobile is equipped with a safety belt consisting of a combination of a pelvic and upper torso restraint that conforms to standards for a Type 2 seat belt assembly under 49 CFR 571.209, and no automobile may be operated in this state unless such belts remain installed. Nothing in this section applies to antique reproductions.

347.48(2)
(2) Type and manner of installing. All such safety belts must be of a type and must be installed in a manner approved by the department. The department shall establish specifications and requirements for approved types of safety belts and attachments thereto. The department will accept, as approved, all seat belt installations and the belt and anchor meeting the society of automotive engineers' specifications.

347.48(2m)
(2m) Required use.
347.48(2m)(a)

(a) In this subsection, "properly restrained" means wearing a safety belt approved by the department under sub. (2) and fastened in a manner prescribed by the manufacturer of the safety belt which permits the safety belt to act as a body restraint.

347.48(2m)(b)
(b) If a motor vehicle is required to be equipped with safety belts in this state, no person may operate that motor vehicle unless the person is properly restrained in a safety belt.

347.48(2m)(c)
(c) If a motor vehicle is required to be equipped with safety belts in this state, no person may operate that motor vehicle unless each passenger who is at least 8 years old and who is seated at a designated seating position in the front seat required under 49 CFR 571 to have a safety belt installed or at a designated seating position in the seats, other than the front seats, for which a safety belt is required to be installed is properly restrained.

347.48 – ANNOT.
NOTE: Par. (c) is shown as amended eff. 6-1-06 by 2005 Wis. Act 106. Prior to 6-1-06 it reads:

347.48 – ANNOT.
(c) If a motor vehicle is required to be equipped with safety belts in this state, no person may operate that motor vehicle unless he or she reasonably believes that each passenger who is at least 4 years old and not more than 15 years old and who is seated at a designated seating position in the front seat required under 49 CFR 571 to have a safety belt installed or at a designated seating position in the seats, other than the front seats, for which a shoulder harness has been installed is properly restrained.

347.48(2m)(d)
(d) If a motor vehicle is required to be equipped with safety belts in this state, no person who is at least 8 years old and who is seated at a designated seating position in the front seat required under 49 CFR 571 to have a safety belt installed or at a designated seating position in the seats, other than the front seats, for which a safety belt is required to be installed may be a passenger in that motor vehicle unless the person is properly restrained.

347.48 – ANNOT.
NOTE: Par. (d) is shown as amended eff. 6-1-06 by 2005 Wis. Act 106. Prior to 6-1-06 it reads:

347.48 – ANNOT.
(d) If a motor vehicle is required to be equipped with safety belts in this state, no person who is at least 4 years old and who is seated at a designated seating position in the front seat required under 49 CFR 571 to have a safety belt installed or at a designated seating position in the seats, other than the front seats, for which a shoulder harness has been installed may be a passenger in that motor vehicle unless the person is properly restrained.

347.48(2m)(dm)
(dm) Paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) do not apply to the operation of an authorized emergency vehicle by a law enforcement officer or other authorized operator under circumstances in which compliance could endanger the safety of the operator or another.

347.48(2m)(dr)
(dr) Paragraph (b) does not apply to the operator of a vehicle while on a route which requires the operator to make more than 10 stops per mile involving an exit from the vehicle in the scope of his or her employment. Paragraphs (c) and (d) do not apply to a passenger while on a route which requires the passenger to make more than 10 stops per mile involving an exit from the vehicle in the scope of his or her employment.

347.48(2m)(e)
(e) The department shall, by rule, exempt from the requirements under pars. (b) to (d) persons who, because of a physical or medical condition, cannot be properly restrained in a safety belt.

347.48 – ANNOT.
Cross Reference: See also ch. Trans 315, Wis. adm. code.

347.48(2m)(f)
(f)
347.48(2m)(f)1.

1. This subsection does not apply if the motor vehicle is a taxicab or is not required to be equipped with safety belts under sub. (1) or 49 CFR 571.

347.48(2m)(f)2.
2. This subsection does not apply to a privately owned motor vehicle while being operated by a rural letter carrier for the delivery of mail or while being operated by a delivery person for the delivery of newspapers or periodicals.

347.48(2m)(f)3.
3. This subsection does not apply to a motor vehicle while being operated by a land surveying crew while conducting a land survey along or upon the highway.

347.48(2m)(f)7.
7. This subsection does not apply to a farm truck or dual purpose farm truck while being used in conjunction with the planting or harvesting of crops and not being operated upon the highway.

347.48(2m)(g)
(g) Evidence of compliance or failure to comply with par. (b), (c) or (d) is admissible in any civil action for personal injuries or property damage resulting from the use or operation of a motor vehicle. Notwithstanding s. 895.045, with respect to injuries or damages determined to have been caused by a failure to comply with par. (b), (c) or (d), such a failure shall not reduce the recovery for those injuries or damages by more than 15%. This paragraph does not affect the determination of causal negligence in the action.

347.48(2m)(gm)
(gm) Notwithstanding s. 349.02, a law enforcement officer may not stop or inspect a vehicle solely to determine compliance with this subsection or sub. (1) or (2) or a local ordinance in conformity with this subsection, sub. (1) or (2) or rules of the department. This paragraph does not limit the authority of a law enforcement officer to issue a citation for a violation of this subsection or sub. (1) or (2) or a local ordinance in conformity with this subsection, sub. (1) or (2) or rules of the department observed in the course of a stop or inspection made for other purposes, except that a law enforcement officer may not take a person into physical custody solely for a violation of this subsection or sub. (1) or (2) or a local ordinance in conformity with this subsection, sub. (1) or (2) or rules of the department.

347.48(3m)
(3m) Safety belt information program. The department shall develop and administer a public information program to promote safety belt awareness and use.

347.48(4)
(4) Child safety restraint systems required; standards; exemptions.
347.48(4)(a)
(a)
347.48(4)(a)1.

1. No person may transport a child under the age of 4 in a motor vehicle unless the child is properly restrained in a child safety restraint system approved by the department. In this subdivision, "properly restrained" means fastened in a manner prescribed by the manufacturer of the system which permits the system to act as a body restraint but does not include a system in which the only body restraint is a safety belt of the type required under sub. (1). The department shall, by rule, establish standards in compliance with applicable federal standards for approved types of child safety restraint systems for those child restraint systems purchased after November 1, 1982

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