Seatbelt Usage in Vermont
Vermont first enacted a seatbelt law in January, of 1994. However, it is not a primary enforcement state, which means a police officer may only give someone a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt if they were stopped for another reason.
The seatbelt law in Vermont applies to people 18 years old and up in all seats. Anyone in violation may be subject to a fine of $25 for a first offense. The state also has a child safety seat law. For children one-year-old or younger, they must be placed in a rear-facing safety seat. Once they turn one year old until they are eight years old, the child must be in a front-facing restraint seat or booster seat. Violation of this law has the same penalty as for the seatbelt law. Children one-year-old or younger must be placed in the rear seat unless the front passenger airbag has been deactivated.
The state has a slightly lower rate of seatbelt use than the national average. The rate for Vermont is 84 percent while the national average was 86 percent for 2012. Vermont has actually seen a decline in use from 2007 when it was at 87.1 percent. This number dropped down to 84.1 percent in 2014. The state does still have a low traffic fatality rate at 7 per 100,000 population in 2015. This is lower than the national average of 10.9.
Vermont is part of the Northeast region, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As a whole, the region had a seatbelt use rate of 88.1 percent. This is slightly behind the South and puts the Northeast in third place overall for seatbelt use. It is still well above fourth place, the Midwest at 81.7 percent.