Table 2-4: Key Provisions of Safety Belt Use Laws: 2009

Table 2-4: Key Provisions of Safety Belt Use Laws: 2009

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State Effective1 Enforcement2 Base fine Seat belt required Vehicles exempted5
Seats3 Ages4
Alabama 7/18/1991 Primary $25 Front 15 years and older Designed for >10 passengers, model year <1965, rural mail carriers/ newspaper delivery vehicles, vehicles operating in reverse.
Alaska 9/12/1990 Primary $15 All 16 years and older School buses, emergency vehicles, mail or newspaper delivery vehicles, non-highway vehicles (generally, off-road or snowmobiles).
Arizona 1/1/1991 Secondary $10 All

Front
5-15 years

5 years and older
Designed for >10 passengers, model year <1972, rural mail carriers.
Arkansas 7/15/1991 Primary $25 Front 15 years and older Not required when an emergency exists that threatens the life of a child or person operating a motor vehicle. Any child who is physically unable because of a medical condition (as certified by a physician) is exempted.
California 1/1/1986 Primary $20 6 All 16 years and older Emergency vehicles, rural postal service vehicles, newspaper delivery vehicles, recycling vehicles, taxis.
Colorado 7/1/1987 Secondary 7 $18 All

Front
Under 16

16 years and older
Passenger buses, school buses, ambulances, postal service vehicles, delivery and pickup service vehicles.
Connecticut 1/1/1986 Primary $15 8 Front 7 years and older Truck or bus >15,000 lb, public vehicles, emergency vehicles, delivery vehicles, postal service vehicles, newspaper delivery vehicles.
Delaware 1/1/1992 Primary $25 All 16 years and older Postal service vehicles, tractors, off-highway vehicles, electric personal assistive mobility devices.
District of Columbia 12/12/1985 Primary $50 9 All 16 years and older Seating for >8 people, taxis (6pm-6am), vehicles with 3 or fewer wheels, farm vehicles.
Florida 7/1/1986 Primary $30 All

Front
6-17 years

>6 years
Newspaper delivery vehicles; solid waste/ recyclable collection service vehicles working designated routes; persons traveling in the living quarters of a recreational vehicle or a space within a truck body primarily intended for merchandise or property; school buses; buses that transport for compensation; farm tractors or implements of husbandry; trucks >26,000 lb.
Georgia 9/1/1988 Primary $15 10 All

Front
6-17 years

18 years and older
Pickups, vehicles designed for >10 passengers, off-road vehicles, vehicles used for frequent stops (all seats), rural postal vehicles, newspaper delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles, driver in reverse, taxis, public transit vehicles.
Hawaii 12/16/1985 Primary $45 11 All

Front
8-17 years

18 years and older
Bus or school bus >10,000 lb, emergency vehicles, taxicabs. DOT may establish additional exemptions.
Idaho 7/1/1986 Secondary $10 All 7 years and older Vehicles >8,000 lb, mail carriers, implements of husbandry, motorcycles.
Illinois 1/1/1988 Primary $25 All




Front
18 years and under if driver is 18 or under

16 years and older
Emergency vehicles, motorcycles, vehicles that stop frequently, rural letter carriers, model year <1964.
Indiana 7/1/1987 Primary $25 All 16 years and older Tractors, RVs, postal vehicles, school buses, delivery vehicles, taxis, buses, emergency vehicles, antique cars, motorcycles, farm vehicles engaged in farming, law enforcement vehicles, non-drivers in parades, public utility vehicles, towing recovery vehicles.
Iowa 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Front 11 years and older Delivery vehicles that do not exceed 25 mph between stops, buses, model year <1965, emergency vehicles, motorcycles, postal vehicles making frequent stops.
Kansas 7/1/1986 Secondary (primary for ages 14-17) $30 All

Front
14-17 years

18 years and older
Designed for >10 people, truck >12,000 lb, off-road vehicles, postal vehicles, vehicles delivering newspapers.
Kentucky 7/15/1994 Primary $25 All All Designed for >10 people, farm trucks registered for agricultural use only and with gross weight 2,000 lb or greater, motorcycles.
Louisiana 7/1/1986 Primary $25 All 14 years and older Vehicles with gross weight >10,000 lb, utility vehicles traveling <20 mph, model year <1981, postal vehicles, farm vehicles, persons delivering newspapers.
Maine 12/26/1995 Primary $50 All 18 years and older Postal vehicles, passengers riding in taxi or limousine for hire.
Maryland 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Front 16 years and older Historical vehicles, for-hire vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, buses, vehicles delivering mail, vehicles built before June 1, 1964.
Massachusetts 2/1/1994 Secondary $25 12 All 13 years and older Buses, trucks 18,000 lb or more, taxis, utility vehicles, model year <1966, postal vehicles, farm vehicles, authorized emergency vehicles, side-facing seat in car owned for antique collecting.
Michigan 7/1/1985 Primary $25 Front 16 years and older Taxis, buses, school buses, postal service vehicles, model year <1965, commercial vehicles making frequent stops.
Minnesota 8/1/1986 Primary $25 All 8 years and older Farm pickup trucks, postal vehicles, commercial vehicles making frequent stops and going <25 mph between stops, vehicles driving in reverse, persons riding in a vehicle in which all the seating positions equipped with seat belts are occupied by other persons in seat belts, model year <1965, persons in possession of written certificate from a licensed physician verifying that he/she is unable to wear a seat belt.
Mississippi 7/1/1994 Primary $25 Front 7 years and older Farm vehicles, buses, postal vehicles, utility meter readers vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, vehicles designed to carry >15 persons, trailers.
Missouri 9/28/1985 Secondary (primary for <16 years old) $10 Front 16 years and older Vehicles designed for >10 people, trucks >12,000 lb, postal service vehicles, vehicles requiring frequent entry or exit, agricultural vehicles.
Montana 10/1/1987 Secondary $20 All 6 years and older Motorcycles, taxis, vehicles making frequent stops, construction vehicles.
Nebraska 1/1/1993 Secondary $25 Front 18 years and older Emergency vehicles, model year <1973, farm tractors and other agricultural equipment, buses, postal vehicles.
Nevada 7/1/1987 Secondary $25 All 6 years and older Taxis, buses, school buses, postal service vehicles, emergency vehicles, delivery vehicles not exceeding 15 mph. Any vehicle or seating position if the State determines compliance is impractical.
New Hampshire n/a No law n/a n/a n/a n/a
New Jersey 3/1/1985 Primary $20 All

All


Front
8-17 years

>7 years and >80 lb

18 years and older
Vehicles manufactured before 1966, medical reasons, rural letter carriers, fewer belts than seats.
New Mexico 1/1/1986 Primary $25 13 All 18 years and older Vehicles >10,000 lb, rural letter carriers.
New York 12/1/1984 Primary $50 14 Front 16 years and older Buses, school buses, taxis, emergency or delivery vehicles, rural letter carriers.
North Carolina 10/1/1985 Primary (secondary for rear seat occupants) $25 All 16 years and older Farm vehicles, postal vehicles, designated commercial vehicles, delivery vehicles traveling <20 mph, trash/recycling trucks.
North Dakota 7/14/1994 Secondary $20 Front 18 years and older Designed for >10 people, farm vehicles, rural mail carriers, medical reasons, all front seat belts in use by other occupants.
Ohio 5/6/1986 Secondary $30 15 All

Front
4-14 years

15 years and older
Postal service vehicles, medical reasons, vehicles delivering newspapers.
Oklahoma 2/1/1987 Primary $20 Front 13 years and older Exempt from seat belt law: farm vehicles (trucks, truck tractors), RVs, postal service vehicles. Exempt from child restraint law: school buses, taxicabs, emergency vehicles.
Oregon 12/7/1990 Primary $97 All 16 years and older Designed for >15 passengers, newspaper and mail vehicles, meter and transit vehicles, for-hire vehicles, trash trucks, emergency vehicles, taxicab operators.
Pennsylvania 11/23/1987 Secondary $10 All

Front
8-17 years

18 years and older
Trucks >7,000 lb, rural letter carriers, delivery vehicles, vehicles traveling <15 mph.
Rhode Island 6/18/1991 Secondary (primary for drivers and occupants <18 years) $75 All All Postal service vehicles.
South Carolina 7/1/1989 Primary 16,17 $25 Front


Rear with shoulder belt
6 years and older

6 years and older
Emergency vehicles, buses, postal service vehicles, delivery vehicles, parade vehicles, vehicles in which all seating positions with seat belts are already occupied, persons occupying vehicles not originally equipped with seat belts.
South Dakota 1/1/1995 Secondary $20 Front 18 years and older Passenger buses, school buses, farm tractors, rural mail carriers, newspaper or periodical delivery vehicles.
Tennessee 4/21/1986 Primary $10 18 Front 16 years and older Vehicles >8,500 lb, rural letter carriers, utility workers, newspaper delivery vehicles, automobile salespersons who drive <50 miles per day on average, parade vehicles, hayrides crossing a highway from one field to another if operated at <15 mph.
Texas 9/1/1985 Primary $200 All

Front
5-16 years

17 years and older
Farm vehicles <48,000 lb, postal service vehicles, newspaper delivery, meter readers.
Utah 4/28/1986 Secondary (primary for drivers and occupants 18 years and younger) $45 19 All 16 years and older Passengers exempted if all seats are occupied or person is riding in a seating position not equipped with seat belts.
Vermont 1/1/1994 Secondary $25 All 16 years and older Buses, taxis, rural mail carriers, delivery vehicles traveling <15 mph, emergency vehicles, farm tractors, vehicles ordered by emergency personnel to evacuate persons from stricken area.
Virginia 1/1/1988 Secondary $25 Front 16 years and older Trucks >10,000 lb, school buses, motor homes, taxis, police vehicles enforcing parking or transporting prisoners, rural mail carriers, newspaper delivery vehicles, utility meter readers, commercial vehicles making frequent stops.
Washington 6/11/1986 Primary $124 All 16 years and older Vehicles designed for >10 people; when all designated seating positions are occupied; vehicles exempted by State regulation, including farm construction or commercial vehicles making frequent stops.
West Virginia 9/1/1993 Secondary $25 All

Front
8-17 years

8 years and older
Designed for >10 people, rural mail carriers, trailers. All seat belts in use and vehicle contains more passengers than total number of seat belts or other safety devices installed in compliance with Federal motor vehicle
safety standards.
Wisconsin 12/1/1987 Primary $10 All 8 years and older Taxis, farm trucks engaged in farming, emergency vehicles, rural mail carriers, land surveyors.
Wyoming 6/8/1989 Secondary $25 20 All 9 years and older Postal vehicles; excess passengers exempted if 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 The word All used in this category means everyone must be restrained. For children, that may be in a child restraint. 4 May include rear-facing child restraint seats, forward-facing child restraint seats, and booster seats. 5 Emergency vehicle and bus exemptions generally do not apply to the operator;

6 Court may substitute traffic safety school for fine with regard to first offense. Fine for second and subsequent offenses is $50.

7 Primary enforcement for child safety restraints.

8 If a driver under 18 commits a violation, he/she is subject to a $75 fine.

9 For child restraint violation, the driver may opt to take a child restraint safety class for $25 in lieu of the $75 base fine. In either case, and for seat belt violation, 2 points are assessed on the drivers record.

10 If a minor violates the seat belt law, the driver may be fined $25.

11 In addition to the $45 fine, the driver must pay a surcharge of $10 for the neurotrauma special fund.

12 Operator may be fined an additional $25 if allowing anyone under 16 and no younger than 12 years old to ride unrestrained.

13 New Mexico also assesses points for violations.

14 New York assesses points only when the violation involves a child under 16 years old.

15 Fine is $30 for a driver violating the law, $20 for a passenger.

16 Seat belt law may not be enforced by checkpoints designed for that purpose.

17 Seat belt law does not apply to an occupant if all belts in the vehicle are used by other occupants.

18 Drivers 18 years or older who choose not to contest the citation pay a $10 fine by mail ($20 for drivers 16-17 years old).

19Reduced to $15 upon completion of class.

20 If motorist is wearing a seat belt when stopped for another violation, the fine for that violation is reduced by $10. Passengers violating the seat belt requirements are subject to a fine of $10.

KEY: n/a = not applicable; RV = recreational vehicle.

NOTES: For the most current provisions of state seat belt laws, see the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Safety Belt Use Laws, available at http://iihs.org/laws/SafetyBeltUse.aspx as of Jun. 17, 2011. For more information on child restraint laws, see Traffic Safety Facts 2008, final edition, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Cats/index.aspx as of Jun., 17 2011.

SOURCES:Effective Dates: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, Safety Belt Use Laws, available at http://www.iihs.org/laws/SafetyBeltUse.aspx, as of Jun. 17, 2011; Enforcement, Base fine, Seat belt required and Vehicles exempted: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts 2009 (early edition) (Washington, DC: 2010), table 126, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Cats/index.aspx as of Jun. 17, 2011.