Seatbelt Usage for Wyoming
Wyoming first enacted a state seatbelt law in June of 1989. It has never become a primary enforcement state, which means that a police officer must have another reason to stop someone before they can issue a seatbelt violation if the person is not wearing their seatbelt.
The seatbelt law in Wyoming applies to anyone nine years old or older in any seat. The penalty for violating the law is a maximum fine of $25 for the driver and $10 for the passenger. The state also has a child safety seat law as well. Anyone eight years old and younger must be kept in a child restraint seat. Violation of this law may result in a maximum fine of $50. All children who are eight years old or under must sit in the rear seat if one is available.
The state has a low rate of seatbelt use. In 2012, it had a rate of 77 percent as compared to the national average of 86 percent. It isn’t surprising that the traffic fatality rate for Wyoming is also rather high. In fact, it is more than double the US average of 10.9 at 24.7, according to a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Wyoming is on a positive trend for seatbelt use. In 2007, the rate of use was 72.2 percent. It then dropped into the 60’s before transitioning upward in 2010 at 78.9 percent. In 2011 and 2013, the rate was over the 80 percent mark before dropping to 79.2 percent in 2014.
While Wyoming has a low rate of seatbelt wearers, it is part of the West region, which has the highest rate. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the West as a whole ranked number one with a rate of 95.0 percent.