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Q

I just got a ticket for a Child Restraint Violation in Texas. Does this go into my driving record? If so, how many points and would it impact to my insurance?


A

Texas law requires every person in the front seat of a vehicle to wear a safety belt, defined as the use of both a lap belt and any shoulder straps included as original equipment or added to a vehicle. The common practice of fastening the lap belt but placing the shoulder strap behind the body or under the arm does not meet the requirements of the law, and violators will be ticketed the same as if they did not have it on at all.

Children under 17 years old in the front or back seat must be secured with a safety belt or in a child safety seat. A child that is younger than five years old and that is less than 36 inches tall must be secured in a child safety seat.

It appears you were ticketed for the last item mentioned above. This type of violation is under the Texas Occupant Restraint law which is under the Texas Transportation Code 545.412.This is titled Child Passenger Safety Seat Systems; Offense. Subsection (a) notes that:

A person commits an offense if the person operates a passenger car or light truck and transports a child who is younger than five years of age and less than 36 inches in height and does not keep the child secured during the operation of the vehicle in a child passenger safety seat system according to the instructions of the manufacturer of the safety seat system

Subsection (b) goes on to state that an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $200. Subsection (g) appears to say that a judge can defer proceedings and place a person under probation and then require the person to attend a specialized driving safety course that includes 4 hours of instruction on the use of child passenger safety seat systems.

You thus may want to see if you can get your ticket dismissed if you can instead take this specialized traffic school course. If this is not an option or even with this traffic school the violation is still placed on your Texas driving record we do not believe points would be assessed.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) the Texas points system assigns 2 points for a moving violation conviction in Texas or that in another state. Points however are not assigned for speeding less than 10% over the posted limit or for seat belt convictions.

If you end up being convicted of this child restraint violation than the violation would go on your TX driving record but not be assessed points is our understanding. The court and/or the TX DPS could tell you for certain. Once the violation is listed on your motor vehicle record than it could affect your insurance rates.It would depend upon your insurer's rating system if this type of violation of the law would make your rates go up or not.

To get low cost car insurance rates for Texas, click here.


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