Blogs from April, 2018


Click It or Ticket - Securing your future

Always good to review the NC seat belt ticket law. 

In addition to the great article below, it is good to know the following.

1.  Passenger seat belt violation by itself is not a reason to stop a vehicle by law enforcement.
2.  There are no driving points or insurance points for a seat belt charge.  However, there are driver's license points for an underage seat belt charge.
3.  Failure to pay a seat belt ticket or go to court can result in a license suspension by DMV.
4.  Seat belt must be properly fastened.  This means you cannot have the shoulder belt under your arm.  If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing the seat belt properly, you need a note from your doctor.

§ 20-135.2A.  (See Editor's note) Seat belt use is mandatory.


(a)        Except as otherwise provided in G.S. 20-137.1, each occupant of a motor vehicle manufactured with seat belts shall have a seatbelt properly fastened about his or her body at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion on a street or highway in this State.


(b)        Repealed by Session Laws 2006-140, s. 1, effective December 1, 2006.


(c)        This section shall not apply to any of the following:


(1)        A driver or occupant of a non-commercial motor vehicle with a medical or physical condition that prevents appropriate restraint by a safety belt or with a professionally certified mental phobia against the wearing of vehicle restraints.


(2)        A motor vehicle operated by a rural letter carrier of the United States Postal Service while performing duties as a rural letter carrier and a motor vehicle operated by a newspaper delivery person while actually engaged in the delivery of newspapers along the person's specified route.


(3)        A driver or passenger frequently stopping and leaving the vehicle or delivering property from the vehicle if the speed of the vehicle between stops does not exceed 20 miles per hour.


(4)        Any vehicle registered and licensed as a property-carrying vehicle in accordance with G.S. 20-88, while being used for agricultural purposes in intrastate commerce.


(5)        A motor vehicle not required to be equipped with seat safety belts under federal law.


(6)        Any occupant of a motor home, as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)k, other than the driver and front-seat passengers.


(7)        Any occupant, while in the custody of a law enforcement officer, being transported in the backseat of a law enforcement vehicle.


(8)        A passenger of a residential garbage or recycling truck while the truck is operating during collection rounds.


(d)       Evidence of failure to wear a seat belt shall not be admissible in any criminal or civil trial, action, or proceeding except in an action based on a violation of this section or as justification for the stop of a vehicle or detention of a vehicle operator and passengers.


(d1)     Failure of a rear seat occupant of a vehicle to wear a seat belt shall not be justification for the stop of a vehicle.


(e)        Any driver or front seat passenger who fails to wear a seat belt as required by this section shall have committed an infraction and shall pay a penalty of twenty-five dollars and fifty cents ($25.50) plus the following court costs: the General Court of Justice fee provided for in G.S. 7A-304(a)(4), the telephone facilities fee provided for in G.S. 7A-304(a)(2a), and the law enforcement training and certification fee provided for in G.S. 7A-304(a)(3b). Any rear seat occupant of a vehicle who fails to wear a seat belt as required by this section shall have committed an infraction and shall pay a penalty of ten dollars ($10.00) and no court costs. Court costs assessed under this section are for the support of the General Court of Justice and shall be remitted to the State Treasurer. Conviction of an infraction under this section has no other consequence.


(f)        No driver's license points or insurance surcharge shall be assessed on account of violation of this section.


(g)        The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Public Instruction shall incorporate in driver education programs and driver licensing programs instructions designed to encourage compliance with this section as an important means of reducing the severity of injury to the users of restraint devices and on the requirements and penalties specified in this law.


20-137.1.  Child restraint systems required.


(a)        Every driver who is transporting one or more passengers of less than 16 years of age shall have all such passengers properly secured in a child passenger restraint system or seat belt which meets federal standards applicable at the time of its manufacture.


(a1)      A child less than eight years of age and less than 80 pounds in weight shall be properly secured in a weight-appropriate child passenger restraint system. In vehicles equipped with an active passenger-side front airbag, if the vehicle has a rear seat, a child less than five years of age and less than 40 pounds in weight shall be properly secured in a rear seat, unless the child restraint system is designed for use with airbags. If no seating position equipped with a lap and shoulder belt to properly secure the weight-appropriate child passenger restraint system is available, a child less than eight years of age and between 40 and 80 pounds may be restrained by a properly fitted lap belt only.


(b)        The provisions of this section shall not apply: (i) to ambulances or other emergency vehicles; (ii) if all seating positions equipped with child passenger restraint systems or seat belts are occupied; or (iii) to vehicles that are not required by federal law or regulation to be equipped with seat belts.


(c)        Any driver found responsible for a violation of this section may be punished by a penalty not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25.00), even when more than one child less than 16 years of age was not properly secured in a restraint system. No driver charged under this section for failure to have a child under eight years of age properly secured in a restraint system shall be convicted if he produces at the time of his trial proof satisfactory to the court that he has subsequently acquired an approved child passenger restraint system for a vehicle in which the child is normally transported.


(d)       A violation of this section shall have all of the following consequences:


(1)        Two driver's license points shall be assessed pursuant to G.S. 20-16.


(2)        No insurance points shall be assessed.


(3)        The violation shall not constitute negligence per se or contributory negligence per se.


(4)        The violation shall not be evidence of negligence or contributory negligence. (1981, c. 804, ss. 1, 4, 5; 1985, c. 218; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 748, s. 1; 1999-183, ss. 6, 7; 2000-117, s. 1; 2004-191, ss. 1, 2; 2007-6, s. 1.)

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