Safety Laws in Connecticut
Anyone riding in the front seat of a vehicle, regardless of the occupant's age, must wear a seat belt. All rear-seat passengers between 4 years old and 16 years old must be restrained by an appropriate safety system.
Drivers not wearing a seat belt, or failing to ensure that occupants under 16 years old are wearing a seat belt, can be charged with a $92 fine. A police officer may pull a driver over solely for not wearing a seat belt.
Child Car Seat Laws
Children must ride in a proper child safety seat until they are above 6 years old and and 60 pounds. In addition, infants must ride in a rear-facing seat until they are one years old and 20 pounds.
After a child exceeds these limits, the child must be secured in a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt, until they outgrow the booster seat.
Failing to follow the child safety seat rules can result in a fine and an order to complete a car seat education class.
Anyone riding a bicycle who is under 16 years old must wear a helmet.
The state provides practical safety information for bike riders of all ages.
Motorcycle Helmets and Eyewear
Motorcycle operators between 16 years old and 17 years old must wear a helmet. Drivers over 18 are required to wear a helmet if they only have a motorcycle permit, and not a motorcycle license.
Drivers of all ages must wear protective eyewear, such as goggles or glasses, unless the cycle is equipped with a windshield.
Cell Phones and Texting
Drivers under 18 years old aren't allowed to use cell phones (including the hands-free type) or any mobile electronic devices while driving. This includes personal digital assistants (PDAs) and text-messaging systems.
Motorists over 18 years old may only use hands-free cell phones while driving.
However, drivers of all ages are permitted to use a conventional or hands-free cell phone in an emergency situations, such as when calling for an ambulance or contacting law enforcement.
All drivers, regardless of age, are banned from texting while behind the wheel.
Motorists may drive on studded snow tires between November 15 and April 30.
Headlights must be turned on whenever it's impossible to clearly see at least 500 feet ahead, during periods of precipitation, and from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.
Anyone who leaves a child under 12 years old unattended in a vehicle long enough that it represents a substantial risk to the child's well-being, could be found guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
Should this happen between 8 p.m.-6 a.m., the charge rises to a class C felony.
Reporting an Unsafe Driver
Motorists who detect a dangerous or possibly inebriated driver should call 911 to report it.