Table 2-4: Key Provisions of Safety Belt Use Laws: 2006

Table 2-4: Key Provisions of Safety Belt Use Laws: 2006

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State Effective1 Enforcement2 Fine Seats covered3 Vehicles exempted4
Alabama 7/18/1992 Primary $25 Front Designed for >10 passengers; model year <1965, rural mail carriers, newspaper delivery, and vehicles normally operating in reverse.
Alaska 9/12/1990 Primary5 $15 All School bus, emergency vehicles, mail or newspaper delivery, non-highway vehicles generally.
Arizona 1/1/1991 Secondary6 $10 Front Designed for >10 passengers; model year <1972; rural mail carriers.
Arkansas 7/15/1991 Secondary $25 Front School, church, or public bus; model year <1968.
California 1/1/1986 Primary $20 All Emergency vehicles, postal service vehicles, newspaper delivery vehicles.
Colorado 7/1/1987 Secondary7 $17 Front Passenger bus, school bus, ambulance, postal service vehicles, delivery and pickup services.
Connecticut 1/1/1986 Primary $15 Front Truck or bus >15,000 lbs; public, emergency, and delivery vehicles; postal service vehicles; newspaper delivery vehicles.
Delaware 1/1/1992 Primary $25 All Postal service vehicles, tractors, off highway vehicles.
District of Columbia 12/12/1985 Primary $50 8 All Seating >8 people.
Florida 7/1/1986 Secondary $30 Front School bus purchased before 1/1/2001; farm tractors, trash trucks, newspaper delivery, living space RVs, public bus, truck >5,000 lbs. Number of passengers in pickup truck required to wear seat belt shall not exceed number of installed front seat belts (extra passengers exempted).
Georgia 9/1/1988 Primary $15-$25 Front Designed for >10 passengers, pickup, offroad vehicles, vehicles used for frequent stops. Exemption for pickups applies to passengers 18 and over.
Hawaii 2/16/1985 Primary $55 9 Front Bus or school bus >10,000 lbs, emergency vehicles, taxicabs. Exempts persons unable to use seat belt when all available seat belt assemblies are in use (in that case, unsecured children must sit in the back seat.
Idaho 7/1/1986 Secondary $10 All >8,000 lbs, mail carriers, implements of husbandry.
Illinois 7/1/1985 Primary $25 Front Emergency vehicles, vehicles making frequent stops. If driver is under 18, all passengers under 19 must be restrained. Children >40 lbs may use lap belt in rear seat if no combination belt is available.
Indiana 7/1/1987 Primary $25 Front Truck, tractor, RV, postal vehicles, delivery vehicles, taxi, bus, emergency vehicles, antique cars.
Iowa 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Front Delivery vehicles that do not exceed 25 mph between stops, emergency vehicles, postal vehicles.
Kansas 7/1/1986 Secondary $10 Front Designed for >10 people, truck >12,000 lbs, off-road vehicles, postal vehicles, newspaper delivery vehicles.
Kentucky 7/13/1994 Primary10 $25 All Designed for >10 people, truck >12,000 lbs, farm trucks 2,000 lbs or more; postal vehicles. Safety belt roadblocks prohibited. No points on driving record for belt violations.
Louisiana 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Front Designed for >10 people, utility vehicles traveling <20 mph, model year <1981, postal vehicles, farm vehicles, persons delivering newspapers.
Maine 12/27/1995 Primary $50 All Manufactured without safety belts, postal vehicles. Everyone in school bus equipped with safety belts must use them.
Maryland 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Outboard front "Historical" vehicles, for-hire vehicles, farm vehicles within 10 miles of farm, vanpool vehicles, ambulances, funeral limousines, modified vehicles 25+ years old.
Massachusetts 2/1/1994 Secondary $25 All Trucks >18,000 lbs, buses and taxis, emergency vehicles, postal vehicles.
Michigan 7/1/1985 Primary $25 Front Taxi, bus, school bus, postal service vehicles, commercial vehicles making frequent stops.
Minnesota 8/1/1986 Secondary $25 Front Farm pickup trucks, postal vehicles, commercial vehicles making frequent stops if not exceeding 25 mph between stops.
Mississippi 3/20/1990 Primary $25 Front Farm vehicle, buses, postal vehicles, utlity meter readers' vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, vehicles designed for >15 people.
Missouri 9/28/1985 Secondary11 $10 Front Designed for >10 people; truck >12,000 lbs; postal service vehicles; vehicles being used for agriculture
Montana 10/1/1987 Secondary12 $20 All Vehicles making frequent stops if exemption obtained from state, construction vehicles.
Nebraska 1/1/1993 Secondary $25 Front Model year <1973, farm tractors and other agricultural equipment, buses, postal vehicles, ambulance or rescue service vehicles.
Nevada 7/1/1987 Secondary $25 All Taxi, bus, school bus, 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 None No adult law $25 All School bus, vehicle for hire, model year <1968, antique cars, vehicles in parade traveling at 10 mph or less.
New Jersey 3/1/1985 Primary $20 Front Manufactured before 1966, rural letter carriers.
New Mexico 1/1/1986 Primary $25 13 All Vehicles >10,000 lbs, rural letter carriers.
New York 12/1/1984 Primary $50-$100 14 Front Bus, school bus15, taxi, emergency or delivery vehicle, rural letter carriers.
North Carolina 10/1/1985 Primary $25 16 Front; all seats as of 7/1/07 Designed for >11 people, farm vehicles, postal vehicles, designated commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles. If no lap and shoulder belt, children 40-80 lbs may be in lap belt.
North Dakota 7/14/1994 Secondary17 $20 Front Designed for >10 people, farm vehicles, rural mail carriers. When all seats or all front seat safety belts are used by other occupants.
Ohio 5/6/1986 Secondary $30 18 Front Postal service vehicles, vehicles delivering newspapers.
Oklahoma 2/1/1987 Primary $20 Front Farm vehicle, truck, truck tractor, RV, postal service vehicles, school buses, taxicabs, emergency vehicles.
Oregon 12/7/1990 Primary $75 or less All Newspaper, mail, meter, and transit vehicles; for-hire vehicles; trash trucks; emergency vehicles; taxicab operators.
Pennsylvania 11/23/1987 Secondary $10 19 Front Truck >7,000 lbs, rural letter carriers, delivery vehicles traveling at 15 mph or less.
Rhode Island 6/18/1991 Secondary20 $75 All Postal service vehicles.
South Carolina 7/1/1989 Primary21 $25 All Emergency vehicles, buses, postal service vehicles, delivery vehicles, vehicles varrying >10 passengers, parade vehicles; vehicles in which all seating positions with safety belts are already occupied; persons occupying rear seat, unless the vehicle is equipped with shoulder harness.
South Dakota 1/1/1995 Secondary22 $20 Front Passenger bus, school bus, rural mail carriers, newspaper or periodical deliveries.
Tennessee 4/21/1986 Primary $10 23 Front >8,500 lbs, rural letter carriers, utlity workers, newspaper delivery; vehicles in parades, hayrides, or crossing a highway from one field to another if operated at <15 mph.
Texas 9/1/1985 Primary $25-$50 Front Designed for >10 people, truck >15,000 lbs, farm vehicles, postal service vehicles, meter readers.
Utah 4/28/1986 Secondary24 $45 or less 25 All Passengers exempted if all seats occupied or if riding in seating positions not equipped with safety belts.
Vermont 1/1/1994 Secondary $25 All Bus, taxi, rural mail carriers, delivery vehicles traveling at 15 mph or less, emergency vehicles, farm tractors.
Virginia 1/1/1988 Secondary $25 Front Designed for >10 people, taxi, police vehicles, rural mail carriers, newspaper delivery, utility meter readers, commercial vehicles making frequent stops.
Washington 6/11/1986 Primary $35 All 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 26 Front Designed for >10 people, rural mail carriers.
Wisconsin 12/1/1987 Secondary $10 All Taxi, farm trucks engaged in farming, emergency vehicles required to make more than 10 stops per mile, rural mail carriers, land surveyors.
Wyoming 6/8/1989 Secondary27 25 28 All Postal vehicles, emergency vehicles, buses. Excess passengers exempted if all seats are occupied.

KEY: RV = recreational vehicle.

NOTES: 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 Virtually every State exempts persons who for medical reasons cannot use a safety belt and vehicles not originally required to be equipped with safety belts; 4 Exemptions for emergency vehicles and buses generally do not apply to the driver; 5 To enforce the safety belt law, the officer must personally observe the violation or have another reason to stop the vehicle; 6 If a motorist is wearing a safety belt when stopped for another violation, the fine for that violation is reduced by $10; 7 Primary enforcement if the driver is under 17 years of age; 8 Plus 2 points on license record; 9 Includes $45 fine and $10 surcharge for neuro-trauma special fund; 10 Primary enforcement begins 1/1/07; until then, "courtesy notices" will be given as part of educational phase; 11 Primary for children <16 years of age;

12 Exemption for persons who cannot use a seat belt because all available seat belts are in use; 13 Plus 2 points on driving record; 14 Plus 3 points on license record if the violation involves a child under 16 years of age. Front seat passengers 16 years and older can be fined up to $50 and drivers can be fined up to $100 for each passenger <16 years not wearing a safety belt; 15 School buses sold in the State must be equipped with seat belts. Board of Education, via regulations, may provide that on school buses under its jurisdiction, safety belts be used when vehicle is in operation; 16 On July 1, 2007, the fine for a rear seat passenger will be $10 and no court costs, with secondary enforcement of violations occurring in the rear seat; 17 Primary enforcement for all positions if occupant is <18 years of age;

18$30 driver, $20 passenger; 19 Fine is $10, but with court, EMS, judicial, and computer costs the ticket total is $51.50; 20 Primary enforcement for drivers and occupants <18 years of age; 21 Safetbelt law may not be enforced by checkpoints designed for that purpose. Law does not apply to an occupant if all belts in the vehicle are used by other occupants; 22 Primary enforcement for all seating positions if occupant is <18 years of age; 23 Drivers 18 years of age and older pay $10 if they do not contest the citation; drivers 16-17 years pay $20; $50 if unsuccessfully contested in court; 24 Primary enforcement for all seating positions if occupant is 18 years of age or under; 25 Reduced to $15 upon completion of class; standard enforcement for children 18 years of age and under; 26 The fine for drivers is $25; the fine for passengers >12 years of age is $10; 27 If motorist is wearing safety belt when stopped for another violation, the fine for that violation is reduced by $10; 28 Passengers violating the safety belt requirements are subject to a fine of $10.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts 2006 Early Edition, Washington, DC: 2007, available at as of Feb. 13, 2008.