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Traffic Safety Laws in Utah

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Child Car Seat Laws

All children under 8 years old riding in a vehicle must be properly secured in an approved child safety seat, unless they are at least 57 inches tall.

Children between 8 to 12 years old must be properly restrained in either an appropriate child restraint device or by a safety belt.

The law does not apply to school buses, and vehicles manufactured without safety belts.

If you're in the market for one, you can shop online for a child car seat at any time. Before ordering, be sure to read our Buying a Child Safety Seat article.

Child passenger seat inspection stations are available throughout Utah.

For more information visit the Utah Department of Public Safety website.

Seat Belts

Everyone 16 years old or older riding inside a vehicle must wear a safety belt if there are seat belts available.

Police enforcement officers have the right to stop a vehicle solely because a driver or occupant is spotted violating the rule.

Violators of this rule may be cited and fined up to $45. Drivers are responsible for enforcement of the rule for any passenger up to 16 years old.

The law does not apply to school buses, and vehicles manufactured without safety belts.

For more information on safety seat laws, consult the Office of Highway Safety website.

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Cell Phones and Texting

Cell phone restrictions:

  • Utah classifies talking on a hand-held cell phone while behind the wheel as careless driving. This is a secondary offense, meaning you cannot be stopped only for cell phone use.

Texting restrictions:

  • All drivers, regardless of age, are banned from texting while driving.

Headlights

Headlights must be turned on when driving at least 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise, and whenever conditions make it impossible to clearly see at least 1,000 ft ahead.

Helmets

Anyone riding on a motorcycle under 18 years old must wear an approved helmet.

Unattended Children in a Vehicle

It's a misdemeanor to knowingly leave any child under 9 years old unattended inside a vehicle. If you see a child you believe to be endangered, call 911 and stay with the car.

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