09-25-20 Hawaiʻi rated no. 1 in seat belt usage

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Torey D. Keltner
Program Manager
Phone: (808) 961-2305


Media Release

One of the safest choices drivers and passengers in Hawaiʻi County can make is to buckle up. Statistics show that the majority of people in Hawaiʻi understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt.  In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “NHTSA”, recently rated the State of Hawaiʻi number one in seat belt usage at 97.1%.  According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, the national use rate was at 90.7% in 2019.

Wearing a seat belt is an easy way to help prevent a family member, a friend, or yourself from being seriously harmed.  We all must understand the potentially fatal consequences of not wearing a seat belt and properly buckle up every time. Seat belts are one of the best defenses against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Being buckled up during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle; being completely ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.

Hawaii’s universal seat belt law requires that all front and back seat motor vehicle occupants buckle up. Adults and children must use their seat belts and child passenger restraints at all times. The fine for unrestrained occupants on Oahu, Hawaiʻi and Maui is $102, and the fine on Kauai is $112. Drivers will receive one citation for each unrestrained occupant in the vehicle.

Hawaii’s child passenger restraint law requires children younger than 4-years of age to ride in a child safety seat. Children 4 through 7-years old must ride in a child safety seat or booster seat. Violators of the child restraint law are required to appear in court; and if convicted, are required to attend a four-hour class and may be assessed a penalty of $100 to $500.

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is dedicated to protecting the community in many ways.  One of those is to strictly enforce the seat belt and child restraint laws.  Everyday Officers stop vehicles for traffic violations, if you are observed not properly wearing your seat belt you will be issued a citation.   We are proud that we have ranked number one in seat belt usage, but that’s not enough.  We want everyone to wear their seat belts all time.  That simple act will save even more lives.

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