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A Plan Toward Zero Deaths

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee on October 1 signed Rhode Island's 2012 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The plan is a blueprint for moving Toward Zero Deaths, a national effort to cut traffic fatalities and serious injuries in half by 2030. Watch a video on TZD that premiered at the SHSP signing event.

Highway Safety Performance Plan

The Rhode Island Highway Safety Performance Plan serves as the State of Rhode Islandís application for Federal funds for highway safety programs. The goals for the RIDOT Office on Highway Safety are described in the plan, along with performance measures, and strategies related to the program areas.

Major program areas:

Common Seat Belt Questions

Common Child Seat Questions

Rhode Island Child Restraint and Seat Belt Laws

RI GL LAW – 31-22-22

  • (f) Any passenger thirteen (13) years of age or older, in any seating position, shall be transported properly wearing a safety belt and/or shoulder harness system.
  • (g) A motor vehicle operator shall be properly wearing a safety belt and/or shoulder harness system.

*NOTE: Vehicle operator is responsible for compliance of sections (a) (b) and (f) for all passengers.

The fine for being unrestrained is $85

New Child Passenger Safety Law

  • Children under age eight (8) years old, less than fifty-seven (57) inches (4 feet, 9 inches) tall and weighing less than 80 lbs. (max weight limit of a booster seat) must be transported in any rear seating position of a motor vehicle and properly restrained in a child restraint system.
  • Children between the ages of 8 through 12 as a passenger in any seating position shall be properly wearing a safety belt.


Children under eight (8) years old are exempt from being transported in any rear seating position if:

(i) the vehicle has no backseat (i.e. pickup, sports car)
(ii) all rear seating positions are already being utilized by other children.

NOTE:: In the (ii) situation, the oldest child should ride in the front seat if vehicle is equipped with a passenger side air bag.

The fine for a child riding in the front seat or over 8 years old not in a seatbelt is $85. A violation for transporting a child not in a child restraint system requires an appearance in court.