Louisiana Criminal Law:
Louisiana Seat-belt and Safety Restraints Laws
Louisiana has safety belt (safety restraint) laws that are fairly similar to other states. The similarity results from federal mandates on safety belt law standards for the states under the threat of the loss of highway revenues.
Child restraints: “Every resident of this state who transports a child or children under the age of thirteen years in a motor vehicle which is equiped with safety belts shall have the child properly secured as follows:”
Younger than 6 or weighing less than 60 pounds shall be retrained in a child restraint system:
- Under 1 year old or less than 20 pounds: rear-facing seat
- 4-6 years old or 40 to 60 pounds: child booster seat
- At least 6 years old or weighs over 60 pounds: the vehicle’s safety belt or a booster seat
“Child restraint system” means a lap belt, a shoulder harness, or an age or size appropriate child safety seat.
TIP: The law applies to any “passenger car, van, or truck having a gross weight of ten thousand pounds or less” (pickup truck) manufactured after January 1, 1981.
General exceptions to wearing a seatbelt:
- Rural letter carrier while on duty
- Certain utility workers while driving under 20
- Farm vehicle operated within 5 miles of its principal use
- Newspaper delivery person while delivering a regularly published newspaper
- Medical or mental disability that prevents the use of a seatbelt
WARNING: Mental or physical disability: To qualify to not have to use a seatbelt under this exception, there must be a certificate from a physician which would then enable you to have a special tag or a notation on your driver’s license that you are not required to use a seat belt. Doing so by fraud will result in criminal penalties. The penalty for a physician who falsely certifies a disability is higher than the penalty for someone who falsely obtains the permit.