With The Woodward Dream Cruise only a short while away, many older cars that were built without seatbelts will be appearing. Lots of families will be out cruising not just for the cruise but in the nice summer weather in general. What happens if you are driving in or have a child riding in a car that is not equipped with a seat belt?
As long as that car was manufactured BEFORE January 1, 1965 you are allowed to drive and child restraint requirements do not apply under federal law or regulation. However, if the car was manufactured AFTER January 1, 1965, the vehicle must be equipped with safety belts for the driver and one other front seat passenger and all child safety seat belt laws apply. (MCL 257.710d).
In regards to children in safety seats, the law states that any rear seated passengers that are between the ages of 4 and 15 must wear a properly fastened safety belt. Also, children up to the age of 4 must be properly restrained in a child safety seat no matter where they are seated in a vehicle. A child that is under the age of four must be placed in the rear seat of the vehicle UNLESS all seats are currently occupied by children that are 4 years old our younger. In that case the child maybe put in the front seat in a proper child restraint system. If the child restraint system is a rear-facing system, it may only be placed in the front seat IF the front passenger air bag is deactivated.
An exception to all and any seat belt rules under 257.710e(e) is that a person may be exempt from wearing a safety belt, or a driver is not liable, if they possess written verification from a physician that the operator or passenger is unable to wear the belt due to medical or physical reasons.