Seat Belt Law









New York State passed the first seat belt law in the US in 1984 under the leadership of John D. States, an orthopedic surgeon who dedicated his career to improving automotive safety.

In the USA, seat belt legislation varies by state. Depending on which state you are in, not wearing a seat belt in the front seat is either a primary offense or a secondary offense, with the exception of New Hampshire, which does not have a law requiring people over age 18 to wear a seat belt.

A primary offense means that a police officer can pull you over for the seat belt law violation alone, and secondary offense that you can be punished for a seat belt law violation only if you are already pulled over for another reason.

In the front seat, the driver and each passenger must wear a seat belt, one person per belt. Though in states such as New York, New Hampshire, Michigan, etc. , seat belts in the rear seats are not mandatory for people over the age of 18, though it is extremely advised.

The driver and front-seat passengers aged 16 or older can be fined up to $50 each for failure to buckle up.

By January 2007 25 states and the District of Columbia had primary seat belt laws, 24 secondary seat belt laws, and New Hampshire had no laws. Georgia presently exempts pickup trucks from its seat belt law.

Each state may modify its law periodically, please check your local authority for the current status.