Seat Belt Requirements for Minors
For children 9-12 years of age and taller than 4’9”, the driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring the child is properly wearing a seat belt. The statute recommends children of this age still ride in the rear seat if available.
For children ages 13-15, the driver is again responsible for ensuring the child is properly wearing a seat belt but for this age group there is not a recommendation that the child be in the back seat.
It is important to note that responsibility for seat belt use is placed on the driver. It is not necessary for the driver to be the parent or guardian. Additionally, Tennessee has a primary seat belt law which means a law enforcement officer is authorized to pull over a vehicle if the officer observes an occupant not using a seat belt.
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