Select your state

Traffic tickets

seat belt laws

Except for New Hampshire, all states and the District of Columbia require adult front-seat occupants of motor vehicles to use seat belts. Adult rear-seat passengers are also covered by the laws in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Children are covered by separate laws.

State seat belt laws are divided into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary seat belt laws allow law enforcement officers to stop a motor vehicle and to issue a ticket or citation to a driver or passenger for not wearing a seat belt without any other traffic offense having occurred. Secondary seat belt laws only allow law enforcement officers to issue a ticket or citation for not wearing a seat belt when there has been another traffic offense by an occupant of the vehicle for which the occupant may be issued a ticket or citation.

In Texas, the state enforces primary seat belt laws for both drivers and front-seat passengers, meaning that law enforcement officers can stop a vehicle and issue a citation solely for the violation of not wearing a seat belt. Texas law requires all occupants of a vehicle, regardless of where they are seated, to wear a seat belt. This includes adult rear-seat passengers. Additionally, Texas has specific laws for the safety of children while traveling in a vehicle. The state mandates the use of appropriate child safety seats for children under a certain age and height. Failure to comply with these seat belt and child safety seat regulations can result in fines and penalties. It's important for drivers and passengers to understand and adhere to these laws to ensure safety and avoid legal consequences.

Legal articles related to this topic

When Were Seat Belts First Required in Cars? A Brief Practical History of Seat Belt Laws
Today, when most of us buckle up without a second thought, it's fascinating to journey back to the roots of this lifesaving invention. Let's examine the past and present of seat belt laws, explore how the humble seat belt became a mandatory.