Seatbelt Usage in Wisconsin
The seatbelt law for Wisconsin was first effective in December of 1987. However, it did not become a primary enforcement state until June of 2009. As a primary enforcement state, a police officer may stop someone for the sole reason of them not wearing a seatbelt.
The law regarding seatbelts is applicable to anyone eight years old and up in any seat. A person may be fined up to $10 for a first-time violation. Wisconsin also has a child safety seat law. This law states that children who are under one year of age must be placed in a rear-facing child restraint seat. If they are between the ages of one and three, they may be seated in a front-facing seat. Those from four years through seven years may be seated in a booster seat. Violation of this law could result in a maximum fine of $75 for a first offense.
Wisconsin had a seatbelt usage rate of 80 percent in 2012. This rate was below the national average of 86 percent. In spite of this fact, the traffic fatality rate in Wisconsin is 9.8, just slightly below the national average of 10.9 deaths per 100,000 population.
The state is showing improvement in the number of people who are buckling up. In 2007, the rate was just at 75.3 percent, but it has continued to increase. In 2014, it was up to 84.7 percent. Wisconsin is part of the Midwest region, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In this report, it shows that the Midwest is ranked at the bottom of the four regions for the rate of seatbelt wear. As a whole, the region had a rate of 81.7 percent, well below the leading West region at 95.0 percent.