Police FAQ

Seat Belt Laws

When is my child big enough for a lap belt?
When your child is 8 years old OR at least 80 pounds, whichever comes first. The seat belt must be properly fitted at all times. Placing the shoulder belt behind the child's back or under the arm is both dangerous and illegal.

When can I put my child in a booster seat?
It is legal to switch to a booster seat at any weight as long as the child is within the booster's weight range. However, it is not generally recommended to use booster seats until after the front-facing child restraint (CR) with a harness is outgrown, usually about 40 pounds. Children less than 8 years old and less than 80 pounds in North Carolina are required to be in some type of child restraint device. Most parents and other care givers comply by using belt-positioning booster seats for children between 40 and 80 pounds.

What if my vehicle doesn't have seat belts?
All passenger vehicles made after 1967 and light trucks and vans made after 1971 are required, by federal standards, to have seat belts.

Who is exempt from wearing seat belts?
Passengers in vehicles made before 1968 (light trucks and vans before 1972) whose vehicles are not equipped with seat belts, large buses, ambulances and other emergency vehicles, if the child's 'personal needs' are being tended to, if all seating positions with belts are occupied.
Effective June 1, 2007, the 'personal needs being tended to' exemption will be removed from NC law.

What are the penalties if I'm caught using improper child restraints?
Number one, your child faces serious injury or death if you are involved in a vehicle crash. The driver is responsible for all children under the age of 16 riding in his/her vehicle. Penalties include, fines, court costs, and driver license points.

Can my child ride in the back of a pick-up truck?
Children less than 12 years of age cannot ride in the back of a pick-up truck.

If adult is present in bed or cargo area and is supervising the child, or;
If child is secured or restrained by seat belt in compliance with FMVSS 208 installed to support load of 5,000 lbs. for each belt and of a type approved by the Commissioner, or;
An emergency situation exists, or;
Vehicle is being operated in a parade pursuant to a valid permit, or;
Vehicle is being operated for agricultural purposes, or;
In counties with no incorporated town with a population greater than 3,500.

Where can I find out more about seat belt law, child restraints, bicycle helmets, etc.?
By visiting www.buckleupnc.org


Does the Forest City Police Department solicit funds over the telephone?
The Forest City Police Department DOES NOT solicit funds over the telephone. If you receive a phone call asking for a donation of funds to a law enforcement cause, be careful and ask specific questions before donating.

Window Tint

What is the legal limit for window tint?
A window of a vehicle that is operated on a highway or a public vehicular area shall comply with these restrictions. The window of the vehicle may be tinted only along the top of the windshield and the tinting may not extend more than five (5) inches below the top of the windhsield, or below the AS1 line of the windshield, whichever measurement is longer. Provided, however, an untinted clear film which does not obstruct vision but which reduces or eliminates ultraviolet radiation from entering a vehicle may be applied to the windshield. Any other window of the vehicle may be tinted in accordance with the following restrictions:

1. The total light transmission of the tinted window shall be at least thirty-five percent (35%). A vehicle that, by use of a light meter approved by the Commissioner, measures a total light transmission of more than thiry-two percent (32%) is conclusively presumed to meet this restriction.

2. The light reflectance of the tinted window must be twenty percent (20%) or less.

3. Tinted film or another material used to tint the window shall be nonreflective and shall not be red, yellow, or amber.


When are fingerprinting services performed?
Fingerprinting is done ONLY on Fridays from 8am - 10am. You must provide proof of identification with some form of picture id such as a state issued Driver's License or ID Card.