We know that seat belts are not required in Model T's, yet it seems most states have passed laws requiring young children to be restrained. Naturally if you tour with antique cars it is a good idea to have a car seat but is it actually required and if it is what does the law state for your state?
You have to obey the law if you want to legally carry children in your car. Many folks add seat belts to restrain the child seat.
Your local law is the law. If the officer enforces it.
Model T's often wore accessory running board "gates" to corral excess
luggage, but often could be doubled for handling errant children.
Another modern option is Velcro. Gotta love Velcro !
Honestly, it has been my experience that law enforcement largely gives
us old car drivers a pass, when it comes to modern rules and regs.
This, of course, is contingent on us not doing anything overly stupid in
their presence. Drive like an idiot in any car and you'll get all the wrong
attention. But my experience has been that old car guys love their cars
and thusly don't go into stunt driver mode when in the old iron, and the
cops just smile and wave, happy like most people just to see an old
sputtering jalopy breaking up the monotony of today's streetscape. If
the bambinos are sitting in the seats and not climbing all over the car,
the cops will likely not get too excited. You mileage may vary.
I love questions about what the law says. It depends who you talk to. As an example
Massachusetts is not a traditional open carry state, but it is not a crime for Class A License holders to open carry. However, it is reported that some jurisdictions will use this(by charging the class A license holders who do open carry with disturbing the peace) as an excuse to revoke permits. My advice is get a statement from a local attorney on their letterhead stating their interpretation and carry it with you, this is usually enough to dissuade constables from trying to ticket you. Good Luck
Burger - I absolutely agree with what you said, except I am a bit confused about one thing. Did you really mean,...."us old car drivers"??? Or, maybe you just meant,...."us drivers of old cars"! At my age,......it makes a difference,....(:^) (:^)
I go pulled over by a cop in a small town in texas.
I of course ask, "what did I do officer."
"Nothing," he said, "I just wanted a better look at your car. It's amazing it is still running."
Then it was have a nice day...
Not a Model T, but a little while back I was driving a 1966 Mustang fastback with antique plates. We were doing VEFC at the time (Voluntary Emergency Foster Care), had been called to pick up a child with assurances a car seat was available. It wasn't, but it was a situation where we had to remove the child immediately. No seat, so I buckled the young child in the back seat (small as it is, the seat, that is...).
Somehow, a City policeman saw the child in the back of the car without a proper seat. He stopped us, and was giving me holy h**l for endangering the child. I explained that were were emergency foster parents, had to immediately remove child, and no seat was available.
He calmed down, as he'd done VEFC himself, and all was OK. We agreed my wife would squeeze in the back seat and sit next to child until we got home.
The point is, local policemen can call you on restraints for a child in any car, if he wishes. I'd say you might be OK with a teenager with no restraint, but any younger child, you may wish to provide belt and seat.
I'd go ahead and put some belts in for the car seat. What one cop may overlook another may not. I work on cars and test drive them down the county roads by my house. Have met countless deputies that waved at me. I met one about a mile from my house one day and he wrote me a no registration ticket and told me he'd take me to jail if he caught me without insurance again. Sorry but I'm not paying to get a car completely legal just to test it out.
It depends on who you are ,who you know and who the officer wants to be. I know all the officers in our county and my wife tells them where to go all the time!!!
She is a 911 dispatcher. I was having trouble getting T registered "plates". The state was giving me the run around. The officers I talked to about it said as long as I had insurance, they could care less about the plates. I didnt try them on it but as I said it depends on the officer.
Drive safe and often
Here in B.C. seat belts are only required what the factory installed. I had a Dodge van and it came from the factory with one seat and one seat belt. A jobber installed a passengers seat complete with a seat belt, however only the driver's seat belt was required. Most laws in the US and Canada are not retroactive without special orders from a high ranking government official.
If your children are replaceable you can do whatever you want. I would make the children safe no matter what state your in or the law requires. Any additions or changes to your car can always be reversed after the children are older.
In California, seat belts are not required because they were not original equipment. However another law says that all children must be belted in. So no belts no kids, children don't get to ride in stock Model Ts.
Bottom line if depends on what country, state/territory, county/province city/village etc you live in. There is not a one rule fits all.
G R. You have to be careful about bringing up weapons in Massachusetts especially when there are folks from New Hampshire that have concealed carry licenses. (The regulations have recently changed)
It is a big issue because Mass regulations are out of control, even for Mass people and worse for out of staters.
I have been pulled over more times than I can remember for the
officer to "get a better look".
Last week (on my way to the T meeting) I got on the slow-moving
freeway to jump up one exit and get off. A State Trooper came up
beside me, lit them up and dropped in behind me for a stop. He walked
up and asked if I knew why he stopped me. As we were only going
about 30 at the time, I drew a blank. He said he thought I was on the
phone, but asked what it was I had in my hand. I showed him the
sanding sponge I was sanding my rough hands with. He laughed
and walked back to his car, telling me to have a nice day.
Be warned .... DO NOT SPONGE AND DRIVE !!!
The state of Washington Statutes indicate the vehicle must have the safety equipment which was installed at time of manufacture. If the vehicle was built prior to seatbelts, then you're exempt from having them. Washington does not require you to retro fit to comply with modern vehicle requirements.
This came up as I was pulled over today driving my daily driver (1959 Tbird) with my son in the back. Bear in mind we have 1 road that has no turns and is 4 lane. Upon getting pulled over (highway patrol) I was first told "I know this is an antique and you aren't required to have seatbelts" By this time I a county sheriff had arrived as well. After having given my all my info and a bit of a talking to about how unsafe it is to have a child without a seat belt I was given an official warning which stated "ANTIQUE CAR NO S/B CHILD HANGING HEAD OUT SIDE OF DRIVER WINDOW" Where I live it is common to see an AVERAGE of 1 police car per mile (remember only 1 road) so I know I will be getting stopped even if I go very few miles. Pervious stops have been for a lack of brake lights. I asked if the officer saw my lights come on when he pulled me over and he answered "yes" (another official warning). In the model A I was stopped for no turn signals. My Mom was stopped in her Model A for 1 tail light. This is why I would like to know what law I was breaking so that I can avoid future trouble.
On a side note the officer mentioned he knew the car and my driving and that I was a very careful/good driver.
Well my daughter was a baby I put her in the car seat as per the law the seat was held in by a attached belt
Since you live in Florida, I would recommend you review the Florida motor vehicle laws pertaining to antique and/or collector vehicles, as each state is different. I would then make a copy of these and carry in the vehicle. If you get cited for something the law allows, you'll need to contest it in court.
I've tried calling both the highway and local and can't get any straight answer.
Asking on the telephone can be a frustrating experience. Best is to print out the actual motor vehicle laws (they'll be pretty specific) and follow what it says. Keep a copy and if cited for something which the law says is fine, your recourse will be to have it dismissed in court. Probably your best option, unfortunately.
I'm not a lawyer, my parents had higher aspirations... But, if I'm readking this correctly
The use of child restrains is exempt if the vehicle is not required to have seat belts, such as taxi, buses, etc., and passenger vehicles manufacturered prior to 1964.
So, in Georgia, I would say, not child restraint.
Now, in some states, I understand that to get a vehicle registered, certain items must be installed such as turn signals, rear view mirror and seat belts. I know of other vehicle owners who install such items on a temporary basis for inspection and then reqmove them for display purposes. In that case, if a seat belt was required, installed and then removed, I would think that not having a child restraint device would be a violation. But, that's just my opinion.
You can have children on the back of a motorcycle so why not an old car without belts? BTW, many years ago I remember a billboard campaign for seatbelts where the billboards exclaimed "BELT YOUR KIDS" ! Of course that got the no spanking crowd upset and that was the end of that. The 1960s was so much simpler. Somehow I survived jumping over the car seats while my parents chain smoked.
I mentioned this several years ago. In North Carolina you must have a speedometer to get a title when you have purchased a car from out of state. This statement in the code was enacted because someone had a "kit Car" titled as and original car. Our legislators then created a book of codes that inspectors use to verify the the authenticity of the vehicle. Therefore, a completely authentic Model T without a speedometer cannot be titled. It is OK not to have turn signals, seat belts, horn, etc. The common answer to get the title would be to install a speedometer and thus making it "non authentic". Whatever!!!!
If seat belts are so safe and kids shouldnt ride invehicles without them...
Why dont school bus have them?
Its amazing very few Amish are killed when their buggy is hit buy a car. The car tends to go under and shoots them out the top with a hard landing and yes injuries. The model T is a motorized buggy. My aunt and uncle were rear ended in a 1919 roadster by a dually driven by a drunk driver. They went through top. Uncle Bill survived aunt Dory did not. The truck was doing 70mph. If they were belted in there would have been no chance.
The U.S. Constitution makes it clear that no law shall be retroactively
enacted or enforced. So, you have this on your side. I had an old car
acquaintance that entered into a legal tangle over side mirrors that were
not Federally mandated on new cars until 1966 (along with seat belts),
which the local constable also pulled into the mix. His bare bones "stripper"
car did not come with any of these "frilly" items, and he owned this car
specifically BECAUSE it was a stripper. Forcing him to install these options
to meet laws that did not exist when the car was built was of no interest
and he took it all the way up the chain in Washington State courts until
vindicated. The Gubmnt cannot enforce laws that did not exist at the time
a piece of equipment of any kind was made upon said piece of equipment.
That said, those sneaky legal minds have a way of coming in the side
door on issues. In this case, I see them coming at you over "child endangerment",
and harassing you to not have a child in a car without seatbelts. Not sure
how that would play out. I have had overly zealous animal lovers get whooped
up over having my dog in the back of my truck without a leap restraint.
I suppose some other overly zealous types would shat bricks if kids were
to ride about in the back of my truck like on a hayride ..... something we
did all the time when I was a kid.
Always cater to the lowest common denominator, eh ?
I have thought about putting seat belts in the back seat of my 14 for my granddaughter but where would you attach the anchor(s)? Has anyone installed them in a 14 touring? If so, how and could you post pics, please?
This comes up on my WWII jeep fourm all the time. For some reason, guys want to or need to install modern seatbelts to their WWII jeep. The passenger seat hinges forward to allow access to the rear seat and is held to the body tub with two 3/8" bolts. Do you really want to be strapped to that seat if the driver slams into something?
Tragic light plane accident last night in Riverside, CA with several people killed. The only survivor was thrown from the plane. 'nuff said. But, this isn't addressing the OP's question.
I just removed a child seat - seat belt arrangement from the rear seat of a '13 Touring. It was wood screwed into the rear seat frame - don't think it would have survived much of an impact.
If the law states that a child must be in a federally approved seat but the person is allowed to restrain that seat however they want then I think we can all see the weak link. Of course to pass a federal inspection would require engineering and crash testing. The big problem here is we have many "brothers" in law enforcement and many newbies that don't know the rules. If you frustrate one you most likely frustrate all and they will single you out. Anything done on the car could be a violation without knowing what the law actually states.
In Tn, the age and type of car does not matter any child must be in a approved child seat, how you fasten it in is up to you. They are your kids or grandkids do what is best.
Anybody ever seen how far the head of a kid in a car seat extends above the "tub" of a touring body? Now, how often do T's turn over in accidents? Couple them two together and predict the outcome. I guess the kid would be alright after his head got ground down to the same level as the body tub. It wouldn't take off any more after that.
These discussions always end up the same way:
1/3 say use a car seat or else you don't care about the kids
1/3 realize the limitations of a car that didn't have seat belts to begin with let alone a car seat, and say do nothing
1/3 talk about how things were 50 years ago when they were kids and didn't wear seat belts
And the remaining 1% have paralysis by analysis because there are no risk free solutions.
One thing is for sure, this is one major strike against the Model T for someone trying to get into the car hobby versus a car that was built post WWII. Even though they didn't have seat belts, they can easily be added. The differences in construction aren't even close.
Child Restraints are overrated. I only fell out once from my Dad's 41 Dodge 4D sedan when I was was three.
Wait until 20 years from now when all cars have mandatory collision avoidance systems.
The Model T will be the deadliest car on the road!
>The Model T will be the deadliest car on the road!<
Wasn't it the early Corvairs that were supposed to be "Unsafe at Any Speed"?
Logic will never prevail when statutes run at odds with special circumstances. Restraints (child seats, air-bags, seat belts, etc.) presume to provide a positive outcome in a collision, based on the structure of cars built the past 20 years or so, nothing of which is applicable to any Model T's high center of gravity, lack of "crumple zones" and wooden body construction.
The "culture" of promoting automobile safety has taken a sea-change through the past 40 years, from campaigns appealing to the use of better judgment and a heightened sense of personal responsibility (Drive Safely, Speed Kills, etc.) to an acceptance of the eventuality of crashes, wherein seat belts, air bags, child seats, anti-lock brakes (and ultimately, the automated, driverless car) all palliatives designed in the hope they will save your sorry ass not IF but WHEN you have an accident, your irresponsible lack of judgment and ability notwithstanding.
Robert, if everyone else has a mandatory collision avoidance system, I shouldn't need one.
How many comercials do you see about new "safer" cars that just make the driver more incompetent. If you want to reduce the number of accidents it should be harder to get a license.
New Jersey law specifically makes an exception for seat belts in cars built before 7/1/66 and for use of child seats in cars not equipped with seat belts:
39:3-76.2g Exceptions to seat belt usage requirements.
3. This act shall not apply to a driver or front seat passenger of:
a. A passenger automobile manufactured before July 1, 1966;
39:3-76.2a Child passenger restraint system; booster seat, use; failure to use not contributory negligence; inadmissibility in evidence.
1. Every person operating a motor vehicle, other than a school bus, equipped with safety belts who is transporting a child under the age of eight years and weighing less than 80 pounds on roadways, streets or highways of this State, shall secure the child in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat, as described in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 213, in a rear seat. If there are no rear seats, the child shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat, as described in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 213 .
That Joisey law is predicated upon Federal mandate. Both outside
mirror (driver's side) and seat belts became mandatory on all cars
built or sold new in the U.S. after 01 July 1966
Chadwick; My Father was a State Trooper in Fl. He always said that traffic tickets were not about safety, they are about swelling the public coffers with funds from dummies! If they were about public safety then he would be impounding your vehicle for a pre-determined amount of time per infraction and a requirement that you re-take your drivers license exam.
WI law is pretty clear that seat belts or child restraints are not required on certain vehicles (farm, military, special use) and "antique reproductions". Now, the question is: is your car considered "reconstructed" or not? And on that, the law is as clear as mud. Having been through this hassle in registering one of my Model T's, I can attest to this situation.
What I have found driving around my rural county is that all the local and county law enforcement folks will just wave and smile. One of the local state troopers is another story. You're never sure what he's going to do. One of these days I am sure I will find out. Yesterday he had a truck pulled over making him clean his windshield. So I have no clue what "issues" he might have with my old car. If kids do ride with me, I stick to seldom traveled rural roads and have them ride in the back.
My oldest son is a traffic cop. He says he writes more warnings than actual "Tickets", although the criteria by which he is evaluated draws no distinction. In other words, they determine how well he does his job in part by the number of citations he writes, but they lump written warnings and actual tickets together for that purpose. It's more about making sure the officer actually makes contact with the public rather than just riding around in his car (And soon to be, motorcycle) all day. One thing he says he does NOT give warnings about is child seats. Kid ain't in a car seat? Driver gets a ticket! Simple as that. He says the tickets for that are not ridiculously expensive and that even underprivileged families should be able to pay it. He also provides them information on how to get a free child seat if the parent claims they can't afford one.
Now, having said all that. I still think a car seat in an open Model T is a bad idea. Closed car? I'd use one and hope for the best, but also I'm intelligent enough to know that simply installing a child seat in a car that was never designed to have one is not a guarantee of ANYTHING. I installed seat belts in the back of my Model A Town Sedan for my grandson's car seat. But I know there are scenarios where it would do little to no good and maybe even some that it would be worse, but not like a Touring car that flips over and skids down the road. We've not had the Model T Touring discussion with his parents yet, and he has not ridden in it. He has ridden in my TT, but only around the property and maybe out on the dirt road, but not on the highway. It has no seat belts.
Putting seat belts (And even child seats) in a car that is not designed for them may or may not do any good at all. It will probably satisfy the local constabulary, so there's one thing. It will probably make some people feel good. And that seems to be growing ever-so-much more important in our society. They can then tout how superior they are in their love for their kids/grandkids/fellow man, etc, and if you don't do the same, you don't love your kids/grandkids....but they may well be doing nothing more than giving themselves a false sense of security. They think it's now a Volvo, but it's still just a Model T.
I suppose that would include Florida Highway, Monroe county sheriff, Fish and wild life, Homeland security, naval police, and DEA (unmarked cars). All of which I have seen having pulled people over on the side of our little 45mph road. Personally I think a ratio of 9:1 (residents to law enforcement) is a bit extreme where there is only 1 road where the only option is to go 100 miles stop and turn around but thats another topic. The truth is that it is a constant revolving door for certain agencies and with an attitute in todays world of "I'm going to mettle with your life" no matter whats done there will always be somebody to stop you for what they feel. I am looking forward to leaving this place.
(From previous thread):
I have thought about putting seat belts in the back seat of my 14 for my granddaughter but where would you attach the anchor(s)? Has anyone installed them in a 14 touring? If so, how and could you post pics, please?
Although the constitution of the United States prohibits Ex post facto laws, a law that required an outside mirror (for example) would not necessarily fit that description. Massachusetts requires a brake light on any car that is registered in the state. There is no exemption for our model Ts. I think that you could build a case that the requirement to install equipment that the car wasn't designed to have - seatbelts come to mind - would be unreasonable, but probably not unconstitutional.
BTW: On a different subject, I talked to the owner of a company that provides school bus services to several school systems in Massachusetts; He has no objection to school bus seatbelts, but insists that they come installed from the factory, and that the school system provide a person to monitor the use of the belts. His position is that the driver has enough to do already, and that his company will refuse any liability whatsoever for injuries caused by the belts or to any child for non or improper seatbelt use.
An ex post facto law sanctions things that were done before the law was enacted. If a jaywalking prohibition takes effect on January 1, you can't be fined for jaywalking on December 31. A law requiring all cars to meet certain equipment standards would be perfectly constitutional as long as it applies only after being enacted. You could be fined for not installing something on your T as soon as the law takes effect, but not for having failed to do so before that.
I'm not taking the time to research this, but my impression is that most wrecks don't involve a car turning turtle. Could an open Model T go belly up? Sure. But I think in most cases it's likely to stay upright in a collision or maybe be turned on its side. In both those cases the greatest danger lies in being thrown out and splattered on the concrete like a bug on a windshield. While there's always a possibility of belts being a danger, I think the odds are very much in the opposite direction.
Can't answer where or how to secure child restraint seats in your early T, but many T's with kiddos on tour have them seated in these.
While you can have your opinions, a law officer seeing these seats in an antique car with car seat age children in the back will think well of the parents or driver.
So, as ever, it's about perceptions.
Strange you didn't get comment from local law enforcement on FL child restraint law. It was expanded in 2015 by the legislature, and reads now:
Children 5 years old or younger must be secured in a federally approved child restraint system: ... Children 4 through 5 years must sit in either a separate car seat, a built in child seat or a seat belt, depending on the child's height and weight.
So age 5 and younger MUST be in a child restraint seat, in any vehicle on FL roads. "Vehicle" applies to antique or horseless carriage registered and license plated vehicles on the road.
I don't carry 5 and under in my T's. But in my '27 touring have added seat belts in the front only when my older grandkids ride , grandson likes the front seat and is aged so can ride up front.
Belts secured to body/frame mount bolts, and subframe rail, is easy on the all metal body later T's.
Sorry, ... that is obscene. Seeing those seats in the back of the touring, ...
I'd sooner roll the kids up in carpet and strap the rolls down on my flatbed.
There comes a point where a man just has to say "I am no longer a part of
the world that is evolving around me" and go somewhere else.
Note, our same gov't sends its citizens off to fight wars, often placing them
in direct danger of life and limb, but they will then tell you that defiling your
car for the sake of "safety" is mandatory ?
Make sure you take the wheels off the kids bikes and trikes as well. If it rolls,
it must be dangerous !
For what it's worth:
I installed seat belts in my '27 depot hack. Here's my thinking on this, and again, just my opinion:
I always get too "wordy", but in trying to avoid that here, just do a bit of research and you may come to the same conclusions that i did. In some Model T's, a touring for example, a very securely mounted seat belt may be a mistake. In the case of (God forbid) a roll-over accident, the way a "T" body is attached to the frame, it is possible for the body to come loose from the frame. If the seat belts are securely bolted to the frame, it is possible that the only thing holding the body from coming completely loose and separated from the frame is the seat belt and your child's body. Therefore, my depot hack seat belts are merely fastened to the wood floor of the depot hack body. To me, the only reason for seat belts in my depot hack is so that when I have several small grandchildren riding with me, I don't have to worry about rambunctious kids jumping around and possibly falling out of a basically open car. Also, this makes the parents feel better about the child's safety, and, it tends to continue a childs training, to always "BUCKLE UP". I also think it would go a long way toward satisfying some over-zealous "officer-of-the-law" in regard to use of seat belts with children.
Again, just my "thoughts" for what it's worth,......harold
For those with car seats, how do you tighten them down to the seat? When installing them in a modern car, I pull them so tight down to the seat that it leaves an imprint for weeks afterward if they're ever removed.
Seems to me that if you tried to do the same in a T that you would completely flatten the seat springs before it got anywhere close to tight.
As we know, the point of fastening the seat is so that it becomes part of the vehicle and therefore absorbs the impact. A loose seat would cause the child fastened in it to absorb the impact upon deceleration.
Can't imagine that it's too friendly on the upholstery either.
Also the point that Harold raises is an excellent one. Fastening a seat belt to the frame or frame rails means that the passenger becomes the the thing preventing the body wanting to separate from the frame in an accident.
I would think that if you're just trying to prevent being expelled from the vehicle that you would want to be attached to the body.
P.S. I guess if you're just trying to meet the spirit of the law and be seen with a car seat none of this really matters.
Those monstrosities in that touring car look terrible, AND put the child higher up in the car, and more likely to get hurt, IMHO.
It is amazing that any of us survived our childhoods.
I fell off a slide once and landed on my head; that's probably why I'm like this today. I also hit my head on the roof of Dad's old '36 Dodge Brother's 1-1/2 ton truck going down the bumpy road to the Dump! Another reason for my, uh, personality. We won't go into the time my forehead hit the radiator in Mr. Marskie's classroom (and I still have the dent!). That accident was my own fault, David Anderson and I were "goofing off" during lunch break. No, I didn't go home early, finished the day and never even saw a Dr. that I remember. Today, I suppose there'd be a big lawsuit!
Those car seats posted above were in my parents' car and were used to haul my kids. Their use had more to do with calming the fears of an overprotective grandma than anything. I have no delusions that actual crash safety was improved in any way.
The kids ride in my touring all the time without any car seats. My youngest, currently 3 months old, will be going for his first ride soon, riding on my wife's lap.
Those car seats were put in just to keep Derek's kids from tipping over in a turn and to keep grandma happy like Derek said. I used 1\4 inch bolts thru the thin boards under the seat cushion. Derek was OK with how they were mounted.
If Grandma aint happy aint nobody happy!
I've not read through all the posts, however noticed Hal mentioned not using child seats in an open car. I've read news articles about early open car accidents, usually involving Model K, and noticed that when a fatality occurred, it was more often than not due to the victim being pinned under the car. Often, those thrown clear survived. I suspect slower speeds, softer shoulders and roadways (non-pavement) may have been factors.
When you think about how the bodies of Model T and other early cars are attached to the chassis, and in general, the flimsiness of these cars, I don't think I'd want to "ride it out" in a rollover or collision. I think exiting the car during or before the crash might be the best way to go.
I think the best way to go is not to have a crash.
When I used to transport my youngster in my old cars, I set then down low and use the racing 3" lap belt. This in MG's and other open cars. When overprotective grandma had words to say about her launching pad kiddie seats, I told her to pipe down and finish washing the dishes. She left in a huff but my kid turned out normal and likes old cars.
Dan, thanks for the response and the pictures.
We have similar seats for my 3-year old granddaughter.
After reading through all the threads, though, I'm wondering if I should still try and install belts. Gotta think about it now.