October 15, 2016

Seat Belt Safety And Laws In Oregon

Seat Belt Safety And Laws In Oregon

Many tragic accidents could be avoided if seat belt laws were strictly adhered to and if the importance of seat belt safety was more widely understood. Improper use of seat belts can lead to severe injuries in the event of an accident. For example, if a lap belt is incorrectly positioned, it may fail to restrain the occupant properly during a collision. As a Portland auto accident attorney, I have witnessed too many families whose lives have been forever altered due to preventable accidents.

Oregon Seat Belt Laws

Oregon law mandates that all passengers, regardless of their seating position, must be properly secured with a seat belt or harness. There are no specific laws for children sitting in rear seats, but placing a rear-facing child safety seat in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with an airbag is prohibited. This practice violates Oregon’s requirement for the "proper use" of a child safety seat.

Primary Enforcement of Seat Belt Use

Did you know that in Oregon, an officer can pull you over if they notice you are not wearing your seat belt? Even if you are obeying the speed limit and other traffic laws, not wearing a seat belt can still result in a ticket.

Updated Child Safety Seat Requirements

Recent changes (May 26, 2017) to Oregon's child safety seat laws have made the regulations stricter to ensure the safety of young passengers. Here are the key points:

  • Infants: Must be in a rear-facing child seat until they are at least 2 years old.
  • Children Over 2 Years Old: Once they outgrow the rear-facing seat, they must transition to a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they reach the height and weight limits set by the seat's manufacturer.
  • Booster Seats: Children who have outgrown their forward-facing seats must use a booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall, whichever comes first.
  • Front Seat Restrictions: Rear-facing car seats are not allowed in the front seat if the vehicle is equipped with an active airbag.

Proper Use and Installation

Regardless of age, it is crucial to ensure that seat belts are always properly fastened and positioned correctly. Officials estimate that more than 70 percent of child safety seats are improperly installed, which significantly reduces their effectiveness.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious accident, it is essential to have an experienced Oregon auto accident attorney who can help you fight for fair compensation. Call today for your free initial consultation.

For more detailed information on Oregon's seat belt and child safety seat laws, you can visit the Oregon Department of Transportation or consult the Oregon Revised Statutes.

Oregon Seat Belt Laws

General Seat Belt Requirements

  • ORS 811.210 - Failure to properly use safety belts
    • Requires all motor vehicle operators and passengers to use safety belts or safety harnesses. Violating this law is a Class D traffic violation.
    • Link to ORS 811.210

Child Safety Seat Laws

  • ORS 811.205 - Failure to properly use child safety system
    • Mandates the use of child safety systems for passengers under the age of eight or who weigh 40 pounds or less. Specifies the proper use of child safety seats and booster seats.
    • Link to ORS 811.205

Exemptions from Safety Belt Requirements

  • ORS 811.215 - Exemptions from safety belt requirements
    • Lists specific exemptions to the seat belt law, including vehicles not required by federal law to have seat belts, and certain conditions under which a person may be exempt for medical reasons.
    • Link to ORS 811.215
  • ORS 811.220 - Exemptions for medical reasons
    • Provides criteria for obtaining a medical exemption from wearing a seat belt, requiring a certificate issued by the Director of Transportation based on a statement from a medical professional.
    • Link to ORS 811.220
  • ORS 811.222 - Provider of care and transport exemption
    • Allows exemptions for persons providing care and transport to patients in emergency medical situations under specific conditions.
    • Link to ORS 811.222
  • ORS 811.225 - Safety belt exemption for delivery persons
    • Specifies the conditions under which delivery persons may be exempt from wearing safety belts, particularly during frequent stops over short distances.
    • Link to ORS 811.225

Vehicle Equipment Requirements

  • ORS 815.055 - Selling vehicles without safety belts
    • Prohibits the sale of vehicles without safety belts that comply with federal safety standards, ensuring all vehicles sold in Oregon are equipped with proper safety belts.
    • Link to ORS 815.055

Note: The contents of this post are not legal advice and are for educational purposes only. If you need help with a legal matter please consult with a qualified attorney. We offer free consultations for personal injury cases.

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