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Old 2010-04-08
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Exclamation Seat Belt Laws: Primary Vs. Secondary

NMA Article: Seat Belt Laws: Primary Vs. Secondary



Seat belt laws have changed rapidly over the past decade and the laws are different depending on which state you’re in.


There are two different types of seat belt laws: primary and secondary.


Primary enforcement laws allow law enforcement officers to pull over drivers and ticket them if they are not wearing their seatbelts. Secondary enforcement laws, on the other hand, only allow an officer to pull over drivers for a separate violation (speeding, headlight out, etc.) and then ticket them if they are not wearing their seatbelts.


New Hampshire is the only state without a seat belt law for adults. All other states have either primary or secondary enforcement laws on the books.


As of April 2010, the following states have primary enforcement laws:


Alabama

Alaska

Arkansas

California

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

Oklahoma

Oregon

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Washington

Wisconsin


And these are the states that have secondary enforcement seat belt laws:


Arizona

Colorado

Idaho

Kansas

Massachusetts

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

North Dakota

Ohio

Pennsyvania

Rhode Island

South Dakota

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

West Virginia

Wyoming


The NMA Position on Seat Belt Laws


The NMA has always supported the contention that individuals should retain the freedom and responsibility to make choices affecting their own safety and the safety of their families. While the NMA encourages seatbelt use, we do not support mandatory seatbelt laws and the intrusive and punitive policies they spawn.


For more information, check out the seat belt laws section of our website.


Are You A NMA Member? If not, read about the benefits and then join!



Seat Belt Laws: Primary Vs. Secondary


Further Reading:


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