In Hawaii, all vehicle passengers must wear seat belts. But Hawaii has special rules for children under eight years old to increase safety and to reduce child injuries. Failure to comply with these rules can result in having to complete educational courses and pay fines.
Children three and under must be restrained in a certified child passenger restraint system. The system must be installed and used in compliance with the manufacturer's recommendations. To alleviate the cost of restraint systems, Hawaii provides a $25 tax credit for the purchase of a child passenger restraint system.
Children who are at least four years old don’t need to be in a child restraint system but must use a booster seat until at least eight years old or reaching four-feet, nine inches tall. Children who are at least 40 pounds can sit in the rear seat without a booster, but only if the vehicle has no accessible shoulder seatbelts. Even after graduating from the booster seat, all passengers must wear seatbelts.
Failure to properly restrain a child under eight years old carries a maximum $100 fine. A second offense in three years will result in a $100 to $200 fine and a third offense in three years carries a $200 to $500 fine. All violations require the violator to complete a child passenger restraint system safety class (up to four hours) and pay a $10 neurotrauma fund surcharge and up to $10 for the trauma system special fund.
A seatbelt ticket for anyone eight or older results in a $45 fine and a $10 neurotrauma surcharge and up to $10 for the trauma system special fund.
It’s illegal for any child under seven to ride on a two-wheel scooter or motorcycle. A violation carries a $200 fine.
Emergency vehicles and mass transit vehicles are exempt from child restraint laws.
For more information about child restraint systems, check the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control. It’s also a good idea to register your car seat to be notified regarding recalls.