Seat Belt Laws

§20-135.2A. Seat belt use mandatory.

(a) Each front seat occupant who is 16 years of age or older and each driver of a passenger motor vehicle manufactured with seat belts shall have a seat belt 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) "Passenger Motor Vehicle," as used in this section, means a motor vehicle with motive power designed for carrying 10 passengers or fewer, but does not include a motorcycle, a motorized pedacycle or a trailer.

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

(1) A driver or occupant 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 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 or commercial purposes; or

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

(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.

(e) Any driver or 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 ($25.00) plus court costs in the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75.00). 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 drivers license points or insurance surcharge shall be assessed on account of violation of this section.

(g) The Commissioner of the Division 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.

(h) Repealed by Session Laws 1999-183, s. 3, effective October 1, 1999. (1985, c. 222, s. 1; 1987, c. 623; 1991, c. 448, s. 1; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 5, s. 1; 1997-16, s. 2; 1997-443, s. 32.20; 1999-183, ss. 1-3; 2002-126, s. 29A.3(a); 2005-276, s. 43.1(g).)