Seat Belt Regulations

What are the current seat belt regulations?
Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, Section 7AA, all children under the age of 5 years old must be secured in a federally approved infant, toddler, convertible or booster seat appropriate for the child's age and weight.

Child Age & Weight Regulations
Children 5 years of age or older and who weigh more than 40 pounds must wear a seat belt that is properly adjusted. Children old enough to use a vehicle's safety belt should not be allowed to place the shoulder belt under their arm or behind their back. It is allowed and recommended that children who weigh between 40 and 60 pounds use a federally approved booster seat designed for this weight range.

The seat belt law applies to children riding in all types of privately owned vehicles and all vehicles for hire, such as taxi cabs. It is the responsibility of the child's parent or caregiver to provide the car seat for use in taxis and in any and all vehicles that transport their child(ren), regardless of vehicle ownership.

Older Children & Teens
Older children/teens and adults riding in a motor vehicle are now required to wear a safety belt.

Exceptions Apply:
  • To adults for vehicles that were not manufactured with safety belts (i.e. antique autos and vehicles that are not supplied with safety belts)
  • To passengers in vehicles in which all seating positions equipped with safety belts or child passenger restraints are occupied by other passengers who are using the restraints
  • To persons riding as a passenger in a vehicle used to transport persons for hire
  • To persons unable physically to use safety belts
More Information
For more information call the Governor's Highway Safety Bureau at 617-727-5073, or the Injury Prevention and Control Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health toll free 1-800-227-SAFE.