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Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, August 13, 2001

Question: Can two of my children share the middle seat belt if I don't have enough seat belts?

Answer: No, that is both unsafe and against the law. 13AAC 02.495 states in part that you may not drive a vehicle when there are more people or objects in the front seat than the seat was designed for. That means if there are three seat belts for the seat, it was designed for three people, and that's the most you can have in the seat.

That law does not address the back seat, but A.S. 28.05.095(b) states that each child between ages 4 and 16 must be secured in a child safety device or a seat belt, whichever is appropriate for the child. (Children under 4 must always be secured in a car seat.)

The law does not specifically address using one seat belt for two children, but the way it is worded, I suspect a judge would frown on the practice and uphold any ticket you might receive.

By the way, the ticket would be $60 and two points against your license.

The reason it is unsafe is that it does nothing to keep the children separated from each other. In a high-speed impact, their bodies and heads could colide with extreme force, easily causing injury or death.

Car makers go to great lenghts to design effective restraint systems, and you defeat the design by not using them as intended.

If you have questions you would like to ask a trooper, send them to Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603 or e-mail them to Chad_Goeden@ dps.state.ak.us. The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.

If you have questions that you would like to ask a trooper, please send them to: Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603. Or you can e-mail them to Chad_Goeden@dps.state.ak.us. The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.



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