Seat Belt Laws

§ 1259. Safety belts; persons age 16 and over.

(a) The operator of a motor vehicle shall be guilty of a violation of this section if any person required to be restrained under this section is occupying a seating position which has been manufactured with a federally-approved safety belt system and is not restrained by the safety belt system while the motor vehicle is in motion on a public highway.

(b) A person is required to be restrained in a safety belt system unless:

(1) the person is a rural mail carrier of the United States Postal Service operating a motor vehicle in the performance of employment; or

(2) the person is a driver or passenger frequently stopping and leaving the motor vehicle or delivering property from the motor vehicle, if the speed of the motor vehicle between stops does not exceed 15 miles per hour; or

(3) the person is the operator of any farm tractor; or

(4) the person is a member of the emergency personnel of an emergency motor vehicle and finds it necessary to be unrestrained in order to perform his or her duties; or

(5) the motor vehicle the person is occupying is a bus or taxi; or

(6) the person is required to be restrained under section 1258 of this title.

(c) Noncompliance with the provisions of this section shall not be admissible as evidence in any civil proceeding.

(d) Failure to wear a safety belt in violation of this section shall not constitute negligence or contributory negligence in any civil proceeding or criminal action, nor be entered as evidence to bar prosecution of a criminal offense.

(e) This section may be enforced only if a law enforcement officer has detained the operator of a motor vehicle for a suspected violation of another traffic offense. An operator shall not be subject to the penalty established in this section unless the operator is required to pay a penalty for the primary offense.

(f) The penalty for violation of this section shall be as follows:

(1) $25.00 for a first violation;

(2) $50.00 for a second violation;

(3) $100.00 for third and subsequent violations.

Added 1993, No. 18, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; amended 2001, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2003, No. 28, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

< Back