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Table 2-4: Key Provisions of Safety Belt Use Laws: 2005

Table 2-4: Key Provisions of Safety Belt Use Laws: 2005

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State Effective1 Enforcement2 Fine Seats covered Vehicles exempted34
Alabama 7/18/1992 Primary $25 Front Designed for >10 passengers; model year <1965. Exemptions for medical reasons, rural mail carriers, paper delivery, and vehicles normally operating in reverse.
Alaska 9/12/1990 Primary $15 All School bus, emergency vehicles, mail or newspaper delivery, non-highway vehicles generally.
Arizona 1/1/1991 Secondary $10 Front Designed for >10 passengers; model year <1972; rural mail carriers.
Arkansas 7/15/1991 Secondary3 $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 Secondary4 $20 Front Passenger bus, school bus, ambulance, postal service vehicles, delivery and pickup services.
Connecticut 1/1/1986 Primary $15 Front23 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 All Seating >8 people.
Florida 7/1/1986 Secondary $30 Front24 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 Front24 Designed for >10 passengers; pickup; offroad; vehicles used for frequent stops. Exemption for pickups applies to passengers 18 and over.
Hawaii 2/16/1985 Primary $55 Front24 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 Front25 Truck, tractor, RV, pickup truck, SUV if registered as pickup truck, postal vehicles, delivery vehicles, taxi, bus, emergency vehicles, antique cars.
Iowa 7/1/1986 Primary $25 Front18 Delivery vehicles that do not exceed 25 mph between stops; emergency vehicles; postal vehicles.
Kansas 7/1/1986 Secondary $10 Front26 Designed for >10 people; truck >12,000 lbs; off-road vehicles, postal vehicles, newspaper delivery vehicles.
Kentucky 7/13/1994 Primary5 $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 Secondary $25-$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 Front Historic vehicle; 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 Truck >18,000 lbs; buses and taxis; emergency vehicles; postal vehicles.
Michigan 7/1/1985 Primary $25 Front23 Taxi, bus, school bus, postal service vehicles, commercial vehicles making frequent stops.
Minnesota 8/1/1986 Secondary $25 Front27 Farm pickup truck, postal vehicles, commercial vehicles making frequent stops if not exceeding 25 mph between stops.
Mississippi 3/20/1990 Secondary $25 Front23 Farm vehicle, bus, postal vehicles, utlity meter readers' vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, vehicles designed for >15 people.
Missouri 9/28/1985 Secondary6 $10 Front23 Designed for >10 people; truck >12,000 lbs; postal workers; vehicle being used for agriculture
Montana 10/1/1987 Secondary7 $20 All Vehicles making frequent stops if exemption obtained from state; construction vehicles.
Nebraska 1/1/1993 Secondary $25 Front23 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 All29 School bus, vehicle for hire; model year <1968, antique cars, vehicles in paradge traveling at 10 mph or less.
New Jersey 3/1/1985 Primary $20 Front24 Manufactured before 1966; rural letter carriers.
New Mexico 1/1/1986 Primary $25 All Vehicles >10,000 lbs; rural letter carriers.
New York 12/1/1984 Primary $50-$100 Front23 Bus, school bus35, taxi, emergency vehicle, rural letter carriers
North Carolina 10/1/1985 Primary $25 Front 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 Secondary8 $20 Front16 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 Front Postal service vehicles; vehicles delivering newspapers.
Oklahoma 2/1/1987 Primary $20 Front30 Farm vehicle, truck, truck tractor, RV, postal service vehicles; trash trucks, emergency vehicles, taxicab operators.
Oregon 12/7/1990 Primary $75 All Newspaper, mail, meter, and transit vehicles; for-hire vehicles; trash trucks, emergency vehicles, taxicab operators.
Pennsylvania 11/23/1987 Secondary9 $10 Front16 Truck >7,000 lbs, rural letter carriers, delivery vehicles traveling at 15 mph or less.
Rhode Island 6/18/1991 Secondary10 $75 All Postal service vehicles.
South Carolina 7/1/1989 Primary11 $25 All Emergency Vehicles, buses, postal service vehicles, delivery vehicles, vehicles varrying >10 passengers, parage 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 Secondary8 $20 Front24 Passenger bus, school bus, rural mail carriers, newspaper or periodical deliveries.
Tennessee 4/21/1986 Primary $10 Front23, 31 >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 Front32, 33 Designed for >10 people, truck over 15,000 lbs, farm vehicles, postal service vehicles, meter readers.
Utah 4/28/1986 Secondary12 $45 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 Front23 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 Front32 Designed for >10 people, rural mail carriers.
Wisconsin 12/1/1987 Secondary $10 All33 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 Secondary4 $25 All Postal vehicles, emergency vehicles, buses. Excess passengers exempted if all seats are occupied.

1Effective date of first belt law in the state; 2Primary 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; 3If a motorist is wearing a safety belt when stopped for another violation, the fine for that violation is reduced by $10; 4Primary enforcement for all positions if driver is under 17 years of age; 5Primary enforcement begins 1/1/07; until then, "courtesy notices" will be given as part of educational phase; 6Primary for children under 16 years of age; 7Primary for children <16 years of age; 8Primary enforcement for all positions if occupant is under 18 years of age; 9Thefine is $10, but with court, EMS, judicial, and computer costs the ticket total is $51.50; 10Primary enforcement for drivers and occupants <18 years of age; 11Safety belt 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; 12Primary enforcement for all positions if occupant is under 19 years of age; 13Plus 2 points on license; 14Plus costs; 15$25 for first offence, $50 for second offense, $50 plus court costs for third offense; 16Plus 3 points on license if the violation involves a child under 16 years of age. 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; 17On 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; 18$30 driver, $20 passenger; 19Drivers 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; 20Reduced to $15 upon completion of class; 21The fine for drivers is $25; the fine for passengers >12 years of age is $10; 22Fine for driver is $25, fine for passengers over 12 years is $10; 23All seats for under 16; 24All seats for under 18; 25All seats for under 12; 26All seats under 14; 27All seats for under 11; 28All seats for under 8; 29Under 18 only (primary law); 30All seats under 13; 31Drivers 16 or 17 years of age must wear a safety belt. Drivers cannot be fined for failure of a passenger >16 years to wear a safety belt; 32All seats under 17; 33Safety belt requirement does not apply to passengers occupying seating positions without safety belts; 33Rear seat occupants must wear safety belt at any position where a shoulder harness is installed; 34Most states exempt vehicles not manufactured with seatbelts; 35School 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.

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

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts 2005 Early Edition, Washington, DC: 2006, available at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/TSF2005EE.PDF as of Nov. 30, 2006.

Updated: Saturday, May 20, 2017