Table 2-4: Key Provisions of Safety Belt Use Laws: 2007

Table 2-4: Key Provisions of Safety Belt Use Laws: 2007

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State Effective1 Enforcement2 Fine Seats covered3 Vehicles exempted4
Alabama 7/18/1991 Primary $25 Front Designed for >10 passengers, model year <1965, rural mail carriers, newspaper delivery, vehicles normally operating in reverse.
Alaska 9/12/1990 Primary $15 All School bus, emergency vehicles, mail or newspaper delivery, non-highway vehicles generally (off road or snowmobile).
Arizona 1/1/1991 Secondary5 $10 Front Designed for >10 passengers; model year <1972; rural mail carriers.
Arkansas 7/15/1991 Secondary6 $25 Front School, church, or public bus; model year <1968; rural postal vehicles.
California 1/1/1986 Primary $20 7 All Emergency vehicles, rural postal service vehicles, newspaper delivery vehicles, recycling vehicles, taxis.
Colorado 7/1/1987 Secondary8 $71 9 Front Passenger bus, school bus, ambulance, postal service vehicles, delivery and pickup services.
Connecticut 1/1/1986 Primary 15 10 Front Truck or bus >15,000 lb; 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, electric personal assistive mobility devices.
District of Columbia 12/12/1985 Primary $50 11 All Seating for >8 people, taxis (6pm-6am), vehicles with 3 wheels or less, farm vehicles.
Florida 7/1/1986 Secondary12 $30 Front School buses, farm tractors, trash trucks, newspaper delivery vehicles, living space of RVs, public bus or truck >26,000 lb. The number of passengers of a pickup truck required to wear seat belts shall not exceed the number of installed front seat belts (extra passengers exempted).
Georgia 9/1/1988 Primary $15-$25 13 Front Designed for >10 passengers, pickups, 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. Exemption for pickups applies to passengers over 18 years.
Hawaii 12/16/1985 Primary $45 14 Front Bus or school bus >10,000 lb, emergency vehicles, taxicabs. DOT may establish additional exemptions by rule. Persons unable to use a seat belt because all available seat belt assemblies are in use are exempted. In this case, unsecured children must sit in back seat.
Idaho 7/1/1986 Secondary $10 All >8,000 lb, mail carriers, implements of husbandry, motorcycles.
Illinois 1/1/1988 Primary $25 Front Emergency vehicles, motorcycles, vehicles that stop frequently, rural letter carriers, model year <1964.
Indiana 7/1/1987 Primary $25 or less All Tractor, RV, postal vehicles, school bus, delivery vehicles, taxi, bus, emergency vehicles, antique cars, motorcycles, farm vehicles engaged in farming, law enforcement vehicles, non-drivers in parades, ambulances, public utility vehicles, towing recovery vehicles.
Iowa 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Front 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 as to child < 18 years $30 15 Front Designed for >10 people, truck >12,000 lb, off-road vehicles, postal vehicles, vehicles delivering newspapers.
Kentucky 7/15/1994 Primary16 $25 All Designed for >10 people, farm trucks >2,000 lb, motorcycles.
Louisiana 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Front Vehicles >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 Postal vehicles, passengers riding in taxi or limousine for hire.
Maryland 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Outboard front Historical, for-hire vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, buses, vehicles delivering mail, vehicles built before June 1, 1964.
Massachusetts 2/1/1994 Secondary $25 17 All Buses, trucks 18,000 lb or more, taxis, utility vehicles, model year <1967, postal vehicles, farm vehicles, taxis, authorized emergency vehicles, side-facing seat in car owned for antique collecting.
Michigan 7/1/1985 Primary $25 Front Taxi, bus, school bus, postal service vehicles, model year <1965, commercial vehicles making frequent stops.
Minnesota 8/1/1986 Secondary $25 Front Farm pickup truck, postal vehicles, commercial vehicles making frequent stops going 25 mph or less between stops, vehicles driving in reverse.
Mississippi 7/1/1994 Primary $25 18 Front Farm vehicle, bus, postal vehicles, utility meter readers vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, vehicles designed to carry >15 persons, trailers.
Missouri 9/28/1985 Secondary19 $10 Front Designed for >10 people, truck >12,000 lb, postal service vehicles, vehicles requiring frequent entry or exit, agricultural vehicles.20
Montana 10/1/1987 Secondary $20 Front Motorcycle, taxi, vehicles making frequent stops if exemption obtained from State, construction vehicles. Persons who cannot use a seat belt because all belts are in use are exempt.
Nebraska 1/1/1993 Secondary21 $25 Front Emergency vehicles, 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   Under 18 only, all seats School bus, vehicle for hire, model year <1968, antique cars, vehicles in parade traveling <10 mph.
New Jersey 3/1/1985 Primary $20 Front Manufactured before 1966, rural letter carriers, fewer belts than seats.
New Mexico 1/1/1986 Primary $25 All Vehicles >10,000 lb, rural letter carriers.
New York 12/1/1984 Primary $50-$100 22 Front Bus, school bus23, taxi, emergency or delivery vehicle, rural letter carriers.
North Carolina 10/1/1985 Primary24 $25 25 Front; all seats as of 7/1/07 Farm vehicles, postal vehicles, designated commercial vehicles, delivery vehicle traveling <20 mph, trash/recycling truck.
North Dakota 7/14/1994 Secondary26 $20 All Designed for >10 people, farm vehicles, rural mail carriers, all front seat belts in use by other occupants.
Ohio 5/6/1986 Secondary $20-30 27 Front Postal service vehicles, vehicles delivering newspapers.
Oklahoma 2/1/1987 Primary $20 Front Farm vehicles, truck, truck tractor, RV, postal service vehicles. Drivers of school buses, taxicabs, and emergency vehicles are exempt from child restraint law.
Oregon 12/7/1990 Primary $90 or less All Vehicles designed for >15 passengers, newspaper, mail, meter, transit vehicles, for-hire vehicles, trash trucks, emergency vehicles, taxicab operators.
Pennsylvania 11/23/1987 Secondary $10 28 Front Truck >7,000 lb, rural letter carriers, delivery vehicles traveling <15 mph.
Rhode Island 6/18/1991 Secondary29 $85 All Postal service vehicles.
South Carolina 7/1/1989 Primary30 $25 All 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 Secondary31 $20 Front Passenger bus, school bus, farm tractors, rural mail carriers, newspaper or periodical deliveries.
Tennessee 4/21/1986 Primary $10 Front >8,500 lb, rural letter carriers, utility 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 Farm vehicles >48,000 lb, postal service vehicles, newspaper delivery, meter readers.
Utah 4/28/1986 Secondary32 $45 or less 33 All 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 Bus, taxi, rural mail carriers, delivery vehicles traveling 15 mph or less, emergency vehicles, farm tractor, vehicle ordered by emergency personnel to evacuate persons from stricken area.
Virginia 1/1/1988 Secondary $25 Front Trucks >10,000 lb, school buses, motor homes, taxis, police vehicles enforcing parking or transporting prisoners, rural mail carriers, newspaper delivery, utility meter readers, commercial vehicles making frequent stops.
Washington 6/11/1986 Primary $124 All Designed for >10 people, when all designated seating positions are occupied, and vehicles exempted by State regulation, including farm construction, or commercial vehicles making frequent stops.
West Virginia 9/1/1993 Secondary $25 or less All Designed for >10 people, rural mail carriers, trailers.
Wisconsin 12/1/1987 Secondary $10 Front Taxis, farm trucks engaged in farming, emergency vehicles, rural mail carriers, land surveyors.
Wyoming 6/8/1989 Secondary34 $25 35 All Postal vehicles, excess passengers if all seats are 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 Many States exempt persons who for medical reasons cannot use a seat belt and vehicles not originally required to be equipped with belts. The word "all" used in this category means that everyone in the vehicle must be restrained. For children, that may be in a child restraint; 4 Exemptions for emergency vehicles and buses generally do not apply to the driver; 5 Law enforcement may stop a vehicle for an apparent violation of the child restraint law as to children under 5;
6 If motorist is wearing belt when stopped for another violation, the fine for that violation is reduced by $10; 7 Court may substitute traffic safety school for fine with regard to first offense. Fine for second and subsequent offenses is $50; 8 Primary enforcement for child safety restraints; 9 Fine for first offense by minor driver is $65; 10 If driver under 18 years commits a violation, he/she is subject to a $75 fine ;
11 Plus 2 points on license record. ; 12 Primary enforcement for violations of child safety restraint law; 13 If minor violates seat belt law, the driver may be fined $25; 14 In addition to the $45 fine, the driver must pay a surcharge of $10 for the neurotrauma special fund; 15 For driver or passenger >17 years; $60 for child 14-17 years;
16 Seat belt roadblocks prohibited. Belt violations not on driving record; 17 Operator may be fined additional $25 if allowing anyone 12 years to ride unrestrained; 18 Driver may be fined only for violation by the driver, a front seat passenger, or a child 19 Primary for children 20 Persons 21 Only secondary enforcement unless the violation involves a person 22 Plus 3 points on license record if violation involves child 23 School buses sold in the State must be equipped with seat belts. Boards of Education, via regulations, may provide that on school buses under their jurisdiction, seat belts shall be used when buses are in operation; passengers 24 For driver and front seat passengers only; secondary for rear seat occupants; 25 Front seat passengers and drivers must also pay $50 in court fees; fine for rear seat passenger is $10 and no court costs; secondary enforcement of violations occurring in the rear seat;
28 Pennsylvanias fine is $10, but with court, EMS, judicial, and computer costs the ticket total is $51.50; 29 Primary enforcement for drivers and occupants 30 Seat belt law may not be enforced by checkpoints designed for that purpose. Seat belt law does not apply to an occupant if all belts in the vehicle are used by other occupants; 31 Primary enforcement for all seating positions with occupant 32 Primary enforcement for all seating positions if driver or passenger is 18 years or younger; 33 Reduced to $15 upon completion of class; standard enforcement for children 18 years or younger; 34 If motorist is wearing belt when stopped for another violation, the fine for that violation is reduced by $10; 35 Passengers violating seat belt requirements are subject to a fine of $10.

KEY: RV = recreational vehicle.

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts 2007, Washington, DC: 2009, available at as of Mar. 16, 2009.