Connecticut General Statutes Title 14. Motor Vehicles. Use of the Highway by Vehicles. Gasoline § 14-100a. Seat safety belts. Child restraint systems. Wheelchair transportation devices




(a) No new passenger motor vehicle may be sold or registered in this state unless equipped with at least two sets of seat safety belts for the front and rear seats of the motor vehicle, which belts comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section.  The anchorage unit at the attachment point shall be of such construction, design and strength as to support a loop load strength of not less than four thousand pounds for each belt.

(b) No seat safety belt may be sold for use in connection with the operation of a motor vehicle on any highway of this state unless it is so constructed and installed as to have a loop strength through the complete attachment of not less than four thousand pounds, and the buckle or closing device shall be of such construction and design that after it has received the aforesaid loop belt load it can be released with one hand with a pull of less than forty-five pounds.

(c) (1) The operator of and any front seat passenger in any motor vehicle or fire fighting apparatus originally equipped with seat safety belts complying with the provisions of 49 CFR 571.209 , as amended from time to time, shall wear such seat safety belt while the vehicle is being operated on any highway, except as follows:

(A) A child under eight years of age shall be restrained as provided in subsection (d) of this section;

(B) The operator of such vehicle shall secure or cause to be secured in a seat safety belt any passenger eight years of age or older and under sixteen years of age;  and

(C) If the operator of such vehicle is under eighteen years of age, such operator and each passenger in such vehicle shall wear such seat safety belt while the vehicle is being operated on any highway.

(2) The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply to (A) any person whose physical disability or impairment would prevent restraint in such safety belt, provided such person obtains a written statement from a licensed physician or a licensed advanced practice registered nurse containing reasons for such person's inability to wear such safety belt and including information concerning the nature and extent of such condition.  Such person shall carry the statement on his or her person or in the motor vehicle at all times when it is being operated, or (B) an authorized emergency vehicle, other than fire fighting apparatus, responding to an emergency call or a motor vehicle operated by a rural letter carrier of the United States postal service while performing his or her official duties or by a person engaged in the delivery of newspapers.

(3) Failure to wear a seat safety belt shall not be considered as contributory negligence nor shall such failure be admissible evidence in any civil action.

(4) Any operator of a motor vehicle, who is eighteen years of age or older, and any passenger in such motor vehicle, who violates any provision of this subsection shall have committed an infraction and shall be fined fifty dollars.  Any operator of a motor vehicle who is under eighteen years of age and any passenger in such motor vehicle who violates any provision of this subsection shall have committed an infraction and shall be fined seventy-five dollars.  Points may not be assessed against the operator's license of any person convicted of such violation.

(d) (1) (A) Any person who transports a child under two years of age or weighing less than thirty pounds in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to ride rear-facing in a child restraint system equipped with a five-point harness approved pursuant to regulations that the Department of Motor Vehicles shall adopt in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.   1

(B) Any person who transports a child under five years of age, but not under two years of age, or weighing less than forty pounds, but not less than thirty pounds, in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to ride rear-facing or forward-facing in a child restraint system equipped with a five-point harness approved pursuant to such regulations.

(C) Any person who transports a child under eight years of age, but not under five years of age, or weighing less than sixty pounds, but not less than forty pounds, in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to ride rear-facing or forward-facing in a child restraint system equipped with a five-point harness or a booster seat secured by a seat safety belt approved pursuant to such regulations.

(D) No person shall transport a child in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state in a rear-facing child restraint system in the front seat of any motor vehicle that is equipped with a functional air bag on the passenger side of such motor vehicle.

(2) Any person who transports a child eight years of age or older and weighing sixty or more pounds in a motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall either provide and require the child to use an approved child restraint system or require the child to use a seat safety belt.  Failure to use a child restraint system shall not be considered as contributory negligence nor shall such failure be admissible evidence in any civil action.  As used in this subsection, “motor vehicle” does not mean a bus having a tonnage rating of one ton or more.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, any person who transports a child four years of age or older in a student transportation vehicle, as defined in section 14-212 , on the highways of this state shall either provide and require the child to use an approved child restraint system or require the child to use a seat safety belt.  Any person who transports a child under four years of age weighing less than forty pounds in a student transportation vehicle on the highways of this state shall provide and require the child to use a child restraint system approved pursuant to such regulations.

(4) No person shall restrain a child in a booster seat unless the motor vehicle is equipped with a safety seat belt that includes a shoulder belt and otherwise meets the requirement of subsection (b) of this section.

(5) Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision (1), (2), (3) or (4) of this subsection shall, for a first violation, have committed an infraction;  for a second violation, be fined not more than one hundred ninety-nine dollars;  and, for a third or subsequent violation, be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.  The commissioner shall require any person who has committed a first or second violation of the provisions of this subsection to attend a child car seat safety course offered or approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles.  The commissioner may, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, suspend for a period of not more than two months the motor vehicle operator's license of any person who fails to attend or successfully complete the course.

(e) (1) Any person who transports an individual who remains in a wheelchair while being transferred into and out of a vehicle, in any motor vehicle on the highways of this state, shall provide and require the use of a device designed to secure individuals in wheelchairs while transferring such individuals from the ground to the vehicle and from the time the motor vehicle is brought to a stop until such individuals are transferred from the vehicle to the ground.  Such device shall be located in the motor vehicle at all times.  The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may, after consultation with the Departments of Transportation and Public Health, establish regulations to implement the provisions of this section and sections 13b-105 and 14-102a, subsection (d) of section 14-103 , subsection (a) of section 14-275 and subsection (a) of section 19a-180 .

(2) The following motor vehicles registered in this state for the first time on or after October 1, 2007, that transport individuals who remain in wheelchairs while being transported, shall, in addition to the requirements of subdivision (1) of this subsection, install or provide and require the use of a device that secures the wheelchair to the motor vehicle's mechanical lift or otherwise prevents or seeks to prevent an individual in a wheelchair from falling from such mechanical lift or motor vehicle:  (A) Motor vehicles in livery service, as defined in section 13b-101, (B) service buses, as defined in section 14-1, (C) invalid coaches, as defined in subdivision (11) of section 19a-175 , (D) vanpool vehicles, as defined in section 14-1, (E) school buses, as defined in section 14-1, (F) motor buses, as defined in section 14-1, (G) student transportation vehicles, as defined in section 14-212 , and (H) camp vehicles, as defined in section 14-1 .  The provisions of this subsection shall also apply to all motor vehicles used by municipal, volunteer and commercial ambulance services and rescue services, as defined in section 19a-175 .

(3) Violation of any provision of this subsection is an infraction.

(f) The commissioner shall administer the provisions of this section.

1 C.G.S.A. § 4-166 et seq.




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