Each person who gets behind the wheel has certain rights and responsibilities to uphold. Although everyone knows the general safety laws put in place, there are several that may go overlooked for one reason or another. Here are four essential driving laws in Utah that all motorists should know.
1. Child Safety Restraints Are Required.
One of the most important things that any Utah driver should know is that seat belts and safety restraints are required for all passengers in a vehicle. In fact, if anyone under the age of 19 is not appropriately restrained, the driver could receive a citation. Furthermore, the driver assumes responsibility for any passenger who is younger than 16 years old.
In terms of child safety restraints, children up to age 8 (or 57 inches tall) must use a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) approved car seat at all times. Depending on the age, the standard for which seat is most appropriate is usually as follows:
- Children from birth to 3 years old should be in a rear-facing car seat (or until they reach the manufacturer’s height and weight maximum).
- Children aged 4 to 7 should be in a front-facing car seat for as long as possible until they reach the maximum height and weight.
- Once a child outgrows the front-facing car seat (typically around age 7 or 8), they should be fastened into a booster seat with a seat belt.
2. “Slow Down, Move Over.”
On most interstates or state highways, there are often several signs along that way stating for drivers to slow down or move over when emergency vehicles are present. Not only is this highly recommended for the safety of all vehicles, but it is actually required by law.
In Utah, drivers must yield the right of way to emergency vehicles and move over to the side of the road or another lane until they have passed. If it is not possible, they must reduce speeds (15 mph or more is often recommended) and provide as much space as possible for the vehicle to pass.
3. Texting and Driving is Prohibited.
As with most states, Utah bans the use of hand-held cellular devices for the purpose of texting while driving. This also includes laptops or other devices that could be used to “write, send or read written communication,” dial a phone number, use the internet, or record a video. If found in violation of this law, the driver may receive a citation and a fine of $100.
However, drivers may still use these devices in the event of an emergency like a collision, medical situation, or to report a crime, as well as utilize voice communication functions or the GPS.
4. Motorcycle Riders Under 21 Must Wear a Helmet.
Anyone under the age of 21 in Utah may not ride or operate a motorcycle without wearing an appropriate USDOT-approved helmet. This also extends to any motor-driven vehicle like electric bicycles and mopeds. It’s also important to recognize that this extends to any motorcycle passengers as well.
Not wearing an appropriate motorcycle helmet may result in an infraction on your license. While this is not considered a substantial offense, your personal safety should always be of the utmost priority when operating any kind of motor vehicle.
Salt Lake City Personal Injury Attorneys
Whether you’re a vehicle owner, motorcycle rider, or pedestrian, you deserve to have your rights protected. Our team at Steele Adams Hosman is dedicated to helping victims recover damages for the injuries sustained in crashes caused by negligent drivers. Schedule a free consultation and get started on your case today by calling (801) 999-1506 or filling out this short form.