Safety Laws in Kentucky

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Seat Belts

As per KRS 189.125, all passengers and drivers in Kentucky must wear seat belts. The following are exempted from this law: USPS letter carriers who are on duty.

  • Children who require a child safety seats.
  • Drivers or passengers with a medical or physical condition that make it impossible to use a seat belt.

Child Car Seat

As per the Kentucky Drivers Manual and KRS 189.125, all children shorter than 40 inches must ride in a federally approved child safety seat. Anyone caught violating the Kentucky’s Child Restraint Law will face a fine of up to $50 and additional compulsory donation of up to $10 to the Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund. For more information on how to install your child safety seat, check the Kentucky State Police’s Child Safety Seat Inspection website.

Kentucky Helmets law

Motorcycle Riders

All motorcycle riders younger than 21 years old must wear helmets while riding. For more information about motorcycle protective eye gear, read the KRS 189.285.

ATV Riders

As per KRS 189.515, all ATV riders in Kentucky must wear helmets. Those who are exempted from this requirement are:

  • Riders operating on private property.
  • Riders operating ATVs for commercial, industrial or business purpose.
  • Riders operating ATVs for agricultural, logging or mining purposes.

Cell Phones and Texting laws

  • All drivers younger than 18 years old are not allowed by Kentucky safety law to use cell phones while driving.
  • All drivers, regardless of age and license status, are banned from sending or reading texts messages while driving.


The KRS 189.030 covers headlamps laws. In Kentucky, you must turn on headlamps 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise. You must also turn on your vehicle’s headlights whenever the weather reduces road visibility.

Reporting Unsafe or Drunk Drivers

If you suspect unsafe or drunk driver, especially those driving dangerously, report them to the law enforcement officers by dialing 911. If you feel that someone is driving dangerously due to a physical or medical condition, report to the local law enforcement officers or the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Leaving Children or Pets Unattended in a vehicle

The Kentucky Drivers Manual provides more information on remedies for leaving a child or pets unattended in a vehicle. Basically, it is illegal to leave a kid younger than 8 years old unattended in a vehicle. If you suspect an unattended child or pet in a vehicle whose life you feel is threatened, report the incident to the law enforcement officers immediately.

Finding Kentucky’s Safety Laws

Title XVI: Motor Vehicles of the Kentucky Revised Statutes provide information about Kentucky safety laws. Other sources where you can get information include:

  • Kentucky's Commercial Driver License Manual.
  • Section four of the Kentucky Drivers Manual.
  • The DMV website-Kentucky Teen Drivers section.
  • The DMV website-Kentucky DUI section.

You can also get more information from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Kentucky DMV and the Kentucky State Police.