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Safety Belts and Safety Seats

Kids and Teens Safety BeltsSafety Belts Save Lives

  • Wearing a safety belt improves survival by 50 percent for front seat passengers during a crash.
  • Wearing lap and shoulder belts (combined with air bags) is the most effective way to reduce fatalities and serious injuries in traffic collisions.

Buckle Up

Safety belts are most effective when used properly.

  • Lap belts should fit snugly across the hips, not over the stomach.
  • Shoulder belts go over the shoulder and across the center of the chest.
  • Never tuck a shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.

Here Is the Law

Texas law now requires drivers and all passengers in vehicles to be secured by a safety belt. A safety belt violation can result in fines ranging from $25 to $250, plus court costs.

Safety Seat Guidelines

Safety belts are designed for adults, not children.

Follow these guidelines when buying the proper seat and buckling up children:

Birth-2 Years

  • All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer. (Check labels on seat for this information.)
  • Secure the chest clip even with your baby's armpits.
  • Fasten harness straps snugly against your baby's body. You should not be able to pinch the slack at the baby’s shoulder.
  • Use the harness slot at or below the baby’s shoulder for rear-facing.

Over 2 Years

  • Use a forward-facing seat for as long as the safety seat manufacturer recommends it. (Check labels for maximum height and weight information.)
  • Fasten harness straps snugly against your child's body. You should not be able to pinch the slack at the baby’s shoulder.
  • Secure the chest clip even with your child's armpits.
  • Use either seat belt or lower anchors to secure the car seat, not both. Always latch the tether strap to the corresponding anchor if your vehicle has one.

4-8 Years

  • Use a booster seat to the maximum height or weight limit. (Check labels for information.)
  • Fasten the lap belt across your child's thighs and hips, not stomach.
  • The shoulder belt should rest on the chest, not the neck. Check belt routing on booster for proper placement.

Over 8 Years Old

  • Always use a lap and shoulder belt for maximum protection.
  • Anyone under the age of 13 should be restrained in the back seat.

For additional information about child safety seats, call Safe Riders at (800) 252-8255.