Table 2-4: Key Provisions of Safety Belt Use Laws: 2003

Table 2-4: Key Provisions of Safety Belt Use Laws: 2003

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State Effective1 Enforcement2 Fine Seats covered Vehicles exempted21
Alabama 7/18/1992 Primary $25 Front Designed for >10 passengers; model year <1965. Exemptions for medical reasons, rural mail carriers, and paper delivery.
Alaska 9/12/1990 Secondary $15 All School bus.
Arizona 1/1/1991 Secondary $10 All Designed for >10 passengers; model year < 1972.
Arkansas 7/15/1991 Secondary $25 Front School, church, or public bus; model year <1968.
California 1/1/1986 Primary $20 All None.
Colorado 7/1/1987 Secondary3 $17 Front Passenger bus, school bus
Connecticut 1/1/1986 Primary $37 Front15 Truck or bus >15,000 lbs.
Delaware 1/1/1992 Primary $25 All Postal service vehicles.
District of Columbia 12/12/1985 Primary $508 All Seating >8 people.
Florida 7/1/1986 Secondary $30 Front16 School bus, public bus, truck >5,000 lbs.
Georgia 9/1/1988 Primary $15 Front16 Designed for >10 passengers; pickup; offroad; rural letter carriers; emergency vehicles.
Hawaii 2/16/1985 Primary $45 Front16 Bus or school bus >10,000 lbs.
Idaho 7/1/1986 Secondary $109 All >8,000 lbs.
Illinois 7/1/1985 Primary $25 Front Emergency vehicles, frequent stops, medical or physical reasons
Indiana 7/1/1987 Primary $25 Front17 Truck, tractor, RV.
Iowa 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Front None.
Kansas 7/1/1986 Secondary $10 Front Designed for >10 people; truck >12,000 lbs.
Kentucky 7/13/1994 Secondary $25 All Designed for >10 people; truck >12,000 lbs.
Louisiana 7/1/1986 Primary $2510 Front Designed for >10 people; model year <1981.
Maine 12/27/1995 Secondary $25-$50 All None.
Maryland 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Front Historic vehicle, taxi, written medical excuse
Massachusetts 2/1/1994 Secondary $25 All Truck >18,000 lbs; bus and taxi operators.
Michigan 7/1/1985 Primary $25 Front15 Taxi, bus, school bus.
Minnesota 8/1/1986 Secondary $25 Front18 Farm pickup truck.
Mississippi 3/20/1990 Secondary $25 Front19 Farm vehicle, bus; exemptions for medical reasons and letter carriers.
Missouri 9/28/1985 Secondary4 $10 Front15 Designed for >10 people; truck >12,000 lbs; postal workers; vehicle being used for agriculture
Montana 10/1/1987 Secondary $20 All None.
Nebraska 1/1/1993 Secondary $25 Front15 Model year <1973.
Nevada 7/1/1987 Secondary $25 All Taxi, bus, school bus.
New Hampshire None No adult law NA NA20 School bus, vehicle for hire; model year <1968.
New Jersey 3/1/1985 Primary $4211 Front16 <1966; medical exemption; rural letter carriers; vehicles not required to be equipped with safety belts under Federal law.
New Mexico 1/1/1986 Primary $258 All >10,000 lbs.
New York 12/1/1984 Primary $50-$10012 Front15 Bus, school bus, taxi, emergency vehicle, rural letter carriers
North Carolina 10/1/1985 Primary $25 Front Designed for >11 people; farm vehicle drivers; rural mail carriers on official business; medical reasons; all safety belts already in use.
North Dakota 7/14/1994 Secondary5 $20 Front Designed for >10 people.
Ohio 5/6/1986 Secondary $25 Front None.
Oklahoma 2/1/1987 Primary $20 Front Farm vehicle, truck, truck tractor, RV.
Oregon 12/7/1990 Primary $75 All Newspaper, mail, meter, transit vehicle.22
Pennsylvania 11/23/1987 Secondary6 $10 Front Truck >7,000 lbs.
Rhode Island 6/18/1991 Secondary $50 All None.
South Carolina 7/1/1989 Secondary $10 All School bus, public bus; vehicle with no belts in rear seating areas.
South Dakota 1/1/1995 Secondary5 $20 Front Passenger bus, school bus; medical reasons, rural mail carriers on official business; newspaper or periodical deliveries.
Tennessee 4/21/1986 Secondary $10 Front >8,500 lbs.
Texas 9/1/1985 Primary $25-$200 Front Designed for >10 people, truck over 15,000 lbs, farm vehicle.
Utah 4/28/1986 Secondary7 $4513 All Medical reasons; all seats occupied.
Vermont 1/1/1994 Secondary $10 All Bus, taxi.
Virginia 1/1/1988 Secondary $25 Front Designed for >10 people, taxi.
Washington 6/11/1986 Primary $86 All Designed for >10 people.
West Virginia 9/1/1993 Secondary $25 Front Designed for >10 people.
Wisconsin 12/1/1987 Secondary $10 All Taxi, farm truck.
Wyoming 6/8/1989 Secondary $2514 All Persons with physical/medical exemption documented by physician's signature; postal vehicles; all seats occupied.

1 Effective date of first belt law in the state; 2 Primary enforcement enables police officers to stop vehicles and write citations whenever they observe a violation of the seat belt law. Secondary enforcement allows police officers to write a citation for seat belt infractions only after stopping a vehicle for some other traffic infraction; 3 Primary enforcement for all positions if driver is under 17 years of age; 4 Primary for children under 16 years of age; 5 Primary enforcement for all positions if occupant is under 18 years of age; 6 The fine is $10, but with court, EMS, judicial, and computer costs the ticket total is $51.50; 7 Primary enforcement for all positions if occupant is under 19 years of age; 8 Plus 2 points on license; 9 Plus costs; 10 $25 for first offence, $50 for second offense, $50 plus court costs for third offense; 11$42 for safety belt violation, $10-$25 for child seat violation; 12 Plus 3 points on license. Front seat passengers 16 and older can be fined up to $50 and drivers can be fined up to $100 for each passenger under 16 not wearing a seat belt; 13 Reduced to $15 upon completion of class; 14 Fine for driver is $25, fine for passengers over 12 years is $10; 15 All seats for under 16; 16 All seats for under 18; 17 All seats for under 12; 18 All seats for under 11; 19 All seats for under 8; 20 All seats for under 18, primary law, $25 fine; 21 Most states exempt vehicles not manufactured with seatbelts; 22 Police/emergency vehicles exempted in some situations.

KEY: NA = not applicable; RV = recreational vehicle.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts 2004 Early Edition, Washington, DC: 2005, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSFAnn/ TSF2004EE.pdf as of Nov. 21, 2005.