Safety Laws in Hawaii

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Helmet Laws

  • Motorcycles — all motorcycle riders in Hawaii must wear a helmet while driving.
  • Bicycles — all bicycle riders under 16 years old must wear a helmet while driving.
  • Motor Scooters — all moped drivers under 18 years old must wear a helmet.

Cell Phones

All drivers in Hawaii, regardless of age, are not allowed to send text messages while they are under the wheel. All drivers younger than 18 years old are not allowed to use cell phones while driving.

Headlight Laws

  • Turning on headlights during daylight for motorcycle is not required.
  • Turning on headlights for motor vehicles is not mandatory.

Reporting Drunk or Unsafe Drivers

The state does not enforce statewide Driving under Influence reporting net. If you spot a drunk driver, report to the law enforcers immediately. If they are driving dangerously, call 911. Be sure to record the vehicle’s license plate number, description, current location and where it is heading.

Unattended and Kids and Pets


Hawaii doesn’t have a clear law that can prosecute those who leave their kids unattended in a vehicle, especially during extreme weather conditions. However, there has been an ongoing debate on how to tighten the law to protect endangered kids in a car. If you suspect an unattended kid in a vehicle, inform the law enforcement authorities immediately. If the kid is in danger, dial 911 immediately.


Hawaii does have a law that prosecutes those who leave pets unattended in a vehicle. If you spot an unattended pet that is in danger, call 911 immediately.

Seat Belts

All drivers and their occupants must wear seat belts while travelling in a car. This regulation applies to both back and front seat car occupants, regardless of age.

Child Car Seat Laws

  • All children younger than 4 years old must sit in a child safety seat that has been approved by the federal government.
  • All children between 4 years old and 8 years old must sit in a booster or child car seat.
  • Kids wearing a lap-only seat belts in the rear seats or those with a height of 4 feet 9 inches or taller are exempted from this regulation.
  • All children who are too old to wear safety seats must wear a seat belt.


If you are found violating any of the above regulation, you will face a stiff fine or forced to complete a 4 hour class.

Tax Break

Hawaii allows a $25 tax break yearly towards the purchase of a child safety seat that has been approved by the state.