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At Craft Law, we specialize in helping our clients file for bankruptcy, but we can also help with traffic violation citations and underage drinking citations. Your safety is our primary concern, and understanding traffic laws of North Carolina is one way you can stay safe when you drive.

One such way to drive safely is to wear your seatbelt and to make sure that everyone in your car is buckled up every time the car is in motion. North Carolina law requires everyone in a car to be properly buckled up, including the back seat. Officers can distribute tickets if anyone in your vehicle is not wearing a seatbelt properly. If the ticket is for a child under 16 years old, the driver is fined. Fines for improper seatbelt use for a child under 16 can be up to $250. Not only is not wearing a seatbelt dangerous, but it’s also costly!

One common question regarding vehicle safety in North Carolina is at what age children should switch from using a booster seat to a regular seatbelt. All kids need a booster seat until the seatbelt fits properly without a booster. When a child turns either 8 years old or they reach 80 pounds in weight, they are eligible to use a seatbelt without a booster seat. When your child makes the switch from booster to seatbelt, you must ensure that the seatbelt fits correctly. In some cases, even if a child is 8 years old or 80 pounds, the seatbelt still doesn’t fit correctly. This can become quite dangerous.

To make sure your child is safe in their seatbelt, try out the “seatbelt fit test.” This test requires evaluation of three things: your child’s knees, shoulders, and hips. First, have your child sit tall and bend their knees in the car. The child should be able to sit with their bottom against the back of the seat and their knees bent at the front edge of the seat. Next, the shoulder belt of the seatbelt should cross mid-shoulder – not too close to their neck or arm. Finally, the lap belt should cross your child’s body on the upper thigh or hip area – not on the stomach.

If your child passes this test, they can use a regular seatbelt in the car. If they do not pass any part of this test, keep the booster seat around for a while longer. It’s always a good idea to stay buckled up in your car, and for you to ensure every passenger in your car is buckled up as well.

Craft Law is the Eastern North Carolina home of bankruptcy attorney Leslie Craft. You can trust our law offices to handle your case, whether it’s bankruptcy, traffic violation, or underage drinking citation, with thoroughness and expertise in Greenville, Morehead City, and Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Call us today!