Safety should always be the top priority!
This applies wherever state you live or whatever state you visit.
As responsible residents, you must always follow the traffic rules and regulations set by the government, especially those involving children.
The state of Wyoming is far no different when it comes to ensuring the safety of its people.
In fact, Wyoming requires all the vehicle occupants to use seatbelts.
However, specific rules apply that children be secured in a proper restraint system.
Read on as we discuss and explain the different aspects and requirements governing Wyoming car seat laws.
Wyoming Car Seat Law
According to Section 31-5-1303 of Wyoming's Regulation of Traffic:
All passenger vehicles must not operate unless every child below nine years of age is correctly secured in an appropriate and federally approved child safety restraint system in a vehicle seat other than the front seat.
1. Infants to Nine Years Old
A child below nine years of age must be secured properly in the child safety restraint system during transport in a passenger vehicle.
The seat should not be placed in the front seat unless the car has only one row of seats or all the safety belts in the rows behind the front seat is occupied by other child passengers.
Keep in mind that a rear-facing infant seat should not be placed in front of an active airbag to ensure the child's protection.
2. Nine to Seventeen Years Old
Children between nine and 17 must wear a properly fastened and adjusted safety belt when driving or transported in a motor vehicle.
The state of Wyoming's regulations may be a little unusual since most states specify ages, weights, or heights as a basis on when to transition into the different types of car seats.
However, the state wants parents and guardians to refer to the car seat's manual and instructions.
These instructions include the minimum and maximum weight and height requirement for safe use.
The manufacturer's instructions must be followed during the car seat's installation in the vehicle and when securing the child in the car seat.
3. Use of Seatbelts in Wyoming
Even below nine years old, children are allowed to wear an adult seat belt given that they can properly and comfortably wear the belt during the entire ride.
This usually occurs when the child is about four feet and nine inches tall.
How to properly fit a child in a seat belt?
Here are some pointers on how to fit a child properly and comfortably in a seat belt:
1. Always keep the back and buttocks of the child against the vehicle seat's back.
2. Always keep the shoulder belt resting snugly on the shoulder and over the chest.
3. Always keep the lap belt across the upper thigh or the hip.
4. Always keep the knees completely bent on the edge of the vehicle seat.
5. Always have the feet flat on the floor to ensure comfort during the entire trip.
Penalties for Violations
A violation of Wyoming's Car Seat Law may give you a citation and a penalty of up to $50.00 for the first offense.
This, however, may be waived by the court if proof of purchase, lease, or acquisition of a child restraint system will be provided.
For the second or subsequent offense, a fine of up to $100.00 may apply.
The failure to use the child restraint system in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions may also lead to up to $50.00 penalty for the first offense or up to $100.00 for the second or subsequent offense.
Moreover, the failure of a child below 12 years old to wear a safety belt may lead to issuing a citation and penalty of up to $25.00.
A child passenger's failure between 12 to 17 years old to wear a seat belt may lead to a citation and penalty of up to $10.00.
If the child is the driver and fails to wear a safety belt, then the child may be issued with a citation and given a fine of up to $25.00.
This should not be counted as a moving violation for the purpose of driver's license suspension or an increase in the insurance premiums.
Is Seat Belt Law a Primary Law in Wyoming?
The State of Wyoming requires all passengers to buckle up.
However, the seat belt law is just a secondary law.
This means that law enforcement officers can't stop or pull over your vehicle for a suspected violation of the seat belt law alone.
Are There Exemptions to Wyoming's Car Seat Law?
A child may be exempted from Wyoming's Car Seat Law if:
1. The child has a medical condition that prevents him or her from wearing a child restraint system.
However, a signed statement stating the condition from a licensed physician should always be available and come in handy.
2. The motor vehicle driver is rendering assistance or aid to the child or the child's parents and guardian.
3. The passenger's shoulder and lap belts fit perfectly and properly across the child's collarbone, chest, and hips.
It should also pose no danger to the child's face, neck, or abdomen in case of sudden stop or accident.
4. The child is transported in a vehicle originally manufactured without any safety belts or is not requiring any safety equipment under the federal law.
5. The child occupies a seat in a passenger vehicle in which the safety restraints are in use by other drivers or passengers.
Is Using Cell Phones Allowed While Driving in Wyoming?
Regardless of the age or the driving experience, texting on the cell phone is not allowed for all drivers in Wyoming.
New drivers are also not allowed to use cell phones and even hands-free devices.
Can I Leave Children Unattended in a Vehicle?
The state of Wyoming doesn't have a statewide law addressing the issue of leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle.
However, the state considers this to be child endangerment and criminal neglect for a caregiver to violate their duty of protecting the child's welfare.
Safe Kids Wyoming
Safe Kids Wyoming offers several child passenger safety programs to ensure child safety and prevent childhood injuries caused by traffic crashes and accidents.
Child Passenger Safety Training
This program aims to educate parents and caregivers with proper knowledge and hands-on assistance.
The CPS technicians and instructors use their expertise and considerable knowledge through community-based activities to ensure better learning among their attendees.
Moreover, the program keeps up-to-date and the latest technical information about passenger safety through continuing education opportunities and seminars.
Wyoming Car Seat Check Locations
Here's a list of the accredited car seat check locations in Wyoming to help guide you along your car restraint system journey.
The safety and protection of its people is the top priority of the state of Wyoming.
True enough, Wyoming ensures the use of seat belts in adults and children aboard.
With the updated guidelines and information about the Wyoming car seat laws, Wyoming's people can ensure a safe and peaceful condition in the streets.