This holiday season, the Pennsylvania State Police is doing Operation Safe Holiday to enforce seat belt and drunk driving laws. In Pennsylvania, you can receive a ticket if you don’t wear a seat belt or fail to ensure that your underage passengers are properly restrained.

The Basics

In Pennsylvania, all front-seat passengers must wear a seat belt.  Rear-seat passengers over the age of 18 are not required to wear a seat belt.  Just remember that seat belts are recommended for all automobile passengers.

People under 18 years old

Anyone in a car who is under 18 years old must wear a seat belt, regardless of whether they are in a front-seat or a back-seat.

Child Restraint Laws

  • All children under 2 years of age must be in a rear-facing car seat until they are taller and heavier than the recommended limits of their seat.
  • Children under 4 must be in a child safety seat.
  • Children 4 to 8 years of age have to use a booster seat.

Remember that what the law requires is the minimum standard for safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that:

  • Children remain rear-facing for as long as possible but definitely not until they weigh 40 pounds
  • Children use a safety seat with a restraint harness “until they reach the height and weight limits for their seats”
  • Children use a booster seat until they are 4’9″ tall and are at least 8 years old