Attorney General's Opinion Says Adult Passengers Responsible for Seat Belts

JUNE 30, 2006 - Posted at 7:54 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - An opinion from the state attorney general's

office says an adult passenger is responsible for belting in, and a

driver can't be cited if the passenger isn't wearing a seat belt.

In the opinion released Wednesday, the A-G's office also said

children under 15 can't ride in pickup truck beds without

restraints, but said the law is unclear on whether adults can.

The questions came from Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley.

He had asked about whether the driver or passenger should be cited

if a front-seat adult passenger in a car or truck isn't wearing a

seat belt.

Elana C. Wills, prepared the opinion for the attorney general's

office. She wrote that the law seems to say that the adult

front-seat passenger would be responsible for the failure to wear a

seat belt. But Wills said drivers are responsible for making sure

that minors are properly restrained.

Jegley also asked about laws on riding in the back of a pickup

truck without restraints or within a camper shell or trailer

attached to a truck. Wills wrote that the children under 15 must be

restrained. But she said state law is unclear when it comes to

adults riding in truck beds, under camper shells or in trailers.