Traffic Safety Laws in Hawaii

Helmet Laws


All riders less than 18 years old must wear a helmet.


All riders under 16 years old must don a helmet.

Motor Scooters

Helmets are required for all riders under 18 years old.

Electronic Devices & Texting

Texting while driving and/or the use of any handheld electronic device is banned for all drivers, regardless of age.

Drivers younger than 18 years old are also banned from using handheld electronic devices AND hands-free mobile devices as well.

Headlight Laws

  • Daytime use is NOT required for motorcycles.
  • There are no mandatory headlight laws for cars or trucks.

Reporting Drunk and/or Unsafe Drivers

Hawaii does not employ a statewide DUI reporting net. If you suspect s driver of being drunk or unfit to be on the road, dial 911. Try to include the driver's license plate number and which direction he or she is headed.

Unattended and Kids and Pets


A person can be be slapped with a second-degree misdemeanor for injuring a minor. But due to the law's vagueness, it is rarely used as a detriment against parents or guardians leaving children unattended in cars. Hawaii's state legislature has been debating tightening the screws on this law, but as of now lacks the strength of consensus.

If you suspect an unattended child is in danger, call 911 and remain with the vehicle until authorities arrive.


Hawaii does not possess a law against leaving pets unattended in cars. If you suspect a pet is in danger, dial 911 and remain with the vehicle until authorities arrive.

Seat Belts

Wearing seat belts is mandatory for all occupants. This applies to front and back seat occupants, regardless of age.

Child Car Seat Laws

The Law

  • All kids under 2 years old must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.
  • All kids under 4 years old must be secured in a Federally-approved child safety seat.
  • All kids under 9 years old  must ride in either a booster seat or a car seat UNLESS they are over 4 feet 9 inches tall.
  • All kids too old for safety seats must wear a seat belt.


If caught in violation you can be slugged with a stiff fine and be forced to attend a child passenger safety class.

Tax Break

The state allows a $25 tax break, per year, towards the purchase of a federally-approved child safety seat.

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