Wyoming requires all vehicle occupants to wear seatbelts. However, children younger than nine years old must be secured in a restraint system such as a harness or booster seat. This article explains when each requirement applies and the results of a violation.
In Wyoming, drivers and passengers must wear a seatbelt. But exceptions do exist.
The seatbelt requirement does not apply to motorcycles, vehicles designed for more than 11 passengers, or vehicles not manufactured with seatbelts.
Postal workers. Postal carriers do not need to use seatbelts while on duty.
Medical reasons. An occupant may also be exempt if he or she has a medical condition preventing the safe use of a seatbelt. But the occupant must carry a physician's certification authorizing the exemption.
A seatbelt violation is a secondary offense (meaning you cannot be stopped for a seatbelt violation alone). A driver violation carries a maximum $25 fine and a passenger violation carries a $10 to $100 fine. However, a driver who receives a ticket for any other moving violation will receive a $10 fine reduction if he or she was properly wearing a seatbelt at the time.
Wyoming requires each child under nine years old to be properly secured in a child safety restraint system.
The car seat system must be installed in the rear seat if available and a rear-facing seat cannot be installed in front of an active airbag.
Wyoming does not specify the type of seat required for each age but does require the seat to be properly installed and used. A seat that is not properly installed will count as a violation. It's also a violation for a child to use a seat in a manner that is inconsistent with the car seat manufacturer's recommendation.
Generally, children will need to be in a forward-facing car seat, rear-facing car seat, or booster seat. Which seat is appropriate will depend on the child's size.
Medical reasons. A child with a medical condition preventing the safe use of a restraint system may be excused with the written certification of a physician.
Seatbelt fits correctly. Also, children under nine years old may use a lap and shoulder belt without a booster if:
Exempt vehicles. School buses and public transit vehicles manufactured without seatbelts are exempt from child seat requirements.
A car seat violation is a primary offense and carries a $50 fine, plus court costs, for the driver. However, the court will waive the fine if the driver shows proof of acquiring an appropriate car seat. Any subsequent violation will result in a $100 fine, plus court costs.
For more information about child restraint systems, check the recommendations of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It's also a good idea to register your car seat to be notified regarding recalls.