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West Virginia Seatbelt Statutes

Child Passenger Safety Law §17C-15-46

Child passenger safety devices required; child safety seats and booster seats. Every driver who transports a child under the age of eight years in a passenger automobile, van or pickup truck other than one operated for hire shall, while the motor vehicle is in motion and operated on a street or highway of this state, provide for the protection of the child by properly placing, maintaining and securing the child in a child passenger safety device system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards: Provided, That if a child is under the age of eight years and at least four feet nine inches tall, a safety belt shall be sufficient to meet the requirements of this section.

Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than twenty dollars.

A violation of this section does not by virtue of the violation constitute evidence of negligence or contributory negligence or comparative negligence in any civil action or proceeding for damages.

If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity may not affect other provisions or applications of this section and to this end the subsections of this section are declared to be severable. If all seat belts in a vehicle are being used at the time of examination by a law officer and the vehicle contains more passengers than the total number of seat belts or other safety devices as installed in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards, the driver may not be considered in violation of this section.

Enforcement of child passenger safety law is primary. The driver of a passenger vehicle may be stopped and cited specifically for violation of the child passenger law. The penalty for violation of the law is a fine of $20 plus court cost.


West Virginia Seatbelt Law §17C-15-49

It is unlawful for a person to operate a passenger vehicle on a public street or highway of this state unless the person, any passenger in the back seat under eighteen years of age, and any passenger in the front sear of such passenger vehicle is restrained by a safety belt meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Enforcement of this section shall be accomplished only as a secondary action when a driver of a passenger vehicle has been detained for probable cause of violating another section of this code.

The maximum penalty for violation of the safety belt law is $25.00. Points will not be added to an operator's license for violation of this law.

Violation of this law is not evidence of negligence in court; however, the courts may impose a maximum five percent award reduction for failure to wear a safety belt.

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