Learn More About the 2019 Maryland Seatbelt Laws

In Maryland, drivers must buckle up, and parents are expected to adhere to child safety seat requirements.

It’s summertime on the East Coast, and Maryland residents are driving across the state in search of fun and relaxation. Maryland is proud to be one of the most compliant states in the United States regarding seatbelt laws, reporting 92.1% seat belt use in 2017. In Maryland, drivers must buckle up, and parents are expected to adhere to child safety seat requirements. Read on to learn more about current seatbelt laws in Maryland.

Driving Without a Seatbelt is a Primary Offense

Whether you’re driving five miles to the supermarket or fifty miles to the beach, failure to wear a seatbelt is considered a primary offense. A police officer can pull you over if he or she notices that you or your front seat passenger are unbelted or wearing a seatbelt improperly. An officer can also pull you over if any passenger under the age of 16 is not wearing a belt. To avoid the possibility of a ticket, ensure that every passenger is using a seatbelt properly. Remember that the shoulder part of the belt should fit snugly across your chest and shoulder, and not under your arm or across your neck. A police officer can pull you over if any member of your party is wearing a belt incorrectly.

Child Seatbelt Requirements

Children younger than eight years old are required to adhere to safety standards based on their height. Children taller than 4’9” must ride in an appropriate child safety restraint, such as a federally approved booster or car seat. If you are currently using an older booster or car seat, check the label to ensure that it’s federally approved. If it isn’t, it’s time to upgrade to a newer model.

Safety Ordinances May Vary

Maryland residents should learn the driving ordinances specific to their city or county. For example, Anne Arundel county prohibits children under the age of 16 from riding in the open bed of a truck. Whether you have lived in Maryland for several years or planning to move to the Old Line State, research your local ordinances and other laws before you drive.


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