United Tribes News

Standing Rock changes child passenger seat belt law
Le Ray D. Skinner, Standing Rock Injury Prevention Coordinator
27 April 2009

FORT YATES, ND - Standing Rock has revised the tribe’s child passenger restraint laws. The tribal council has amended the law making it mandatory for all children who are passengers in a motor vehicle to be in an appropriate child restraint device.

      The change was made to the highway provisions of the tribe’s Code of Justice. It means that Standing Rock has what is known as a “Primary” seat belt law, where motorists may be stopped and cited for that violation. The law was made effective April 13, 2009. There is a 30 day grace period where written warnings may be issued.

Primary Child Restraint Law

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has amended the Tribal Code of Justice to contain an Infant/Child Restraint provision as a primary law effective April 13, 2009. There is a one month grace period in which written warnings may be issued for any child passenger violations (see Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Code of Justice, Title Xl-Chapter 2). The grace period ends May 13, 2009.

      The Tribal Council is to be commended for their work to make the reservation safer for children.

      The law requires that children up to the age of 17 must be properly secured in a seatbelt or child restraint (car seat, booster or seat belt).

      To help select the appropriate child restraint device for a child's age and weight, the Standing Rock Injury Prevention Program offers the following guidelines:

      INFANT SEAT: Babies should ride in rear-facing seats until they are at least 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds.

      TODDLER SEAT: Children who weigh more than20 pounds and are at least I year of age should ride in a forward-facing car seat with harness until they weigh 40 pounds.

      BOOSTER SEAT: Children who weigh between 40 and 80 pounds and are less than 4' 9” tall should use a booster seat to position the lap and shoulder belt.

      SEAT BELTS: Kids who weigh more than 80 pounds and are more than 4' 9" tall should use a seat belt. 

More information:
Standing Rock Injury Prevention Program
Le Ray D. Skinner, Coordinator
PO Box D
Fort Yates, ND 58538