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RCW 46.61.688 Safety belts, use required — Penalties — Exemptions. (1) For the purposes of this section, "motor vehicle" includes:
(a) "Buses," meaning motor vehicles with motive power, except trailers, designed to carry more than ten passengers;
(b) "Medium-speed electric vehicle" meaning a self-propelled, electrically powered four-wheeled motor vehicle, equipped with a roll cage or crush-proof body design, whose speed attainable in one mile is more than thirty miles per hour but not more than thirty-five miles per hour and otherwise meets or exceeds the federal regulations set forth in 49 C.F.R. Sec. 571.500;
(c) "Motorcycle," meaning a three-wheeled motor vehicle that is designed (i) so that the driver rides on a seat in a partially or completely enclosed seating area that is equipped with safety belts and (ii) to be steered with a steering wheel;
(d) "Multipurpose passenger vehicles," meaning motor vehicles with motive power, except trailers, designed to carry ten persons or less that are constructed either on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road operation;
(e) "Neighborhood electric vehicle," meaning a self-propelled, electrically powered four-wheeled motor vehicle whose speed attainable in one mile is more than twenty miles per hour and not more than twenty-five miles per hour and conforms to federal regulations under 49 C.F.R. Sec. 571.500;
(f) "Passenger cars," meaning motor vehicles with motive power, except multipurpose passenger vehicles, motorcycles, or trailers, designed for carrying ten passengers or less; and
(g) "Trucks," meaning motor vehicles with motive power, except trailers, designed primarily for the transportation of property.
(2)(a) This section only applies to:
(i) Motor vehicles that meet the manual seat belt safety standards as set forth in 49 C.F.R. Sec. 571.208;
(ii) Motorcycles, when equipped with safety belts that meet the standards set forth in 49 C.F.R. Part 571; and
(iii) Neighborhood electric vehicles and medium-speed electric vehicles that meet the seat belt standards as set forth in 49 C.F.R. Sec. 571.500.
(b) This section does not apply to a vehicle occupant for whom no safety belt is available when all designated seating positions as required under 49 C.F.R. Part 571 are occupied.
(3) Every person sixteen years of age or older operating or riding in a motor vehicle shall wear the safety belt assembly in a properly adjusted and securely fastened manner.
(4) No person may operate a motor vehicle unless all child passengers under the age of sixteen years are either: (a) Wearing a safety belt assembly or (b) are securely fastened into an approved child restraint device.
(5) A person violating this section shall be issued a notice of traffic infraction under chapter 46.63 RCW. A finding that a person has committed a traffic infraction under this section shall be contained in the driver's abstract but shall not be available to insurance companies or employers.
(6) Failure to comply with the requirements of this section does not constitute negligence, nor may failure to wear a safety belt assembly be admissible as evidence of negligence in any civil action.
(7) This section does not apply to an operator or passenger who possesses written verification from a licensed physician that the operator or passenger is unable to wear a safety belt for physical or medical reasons.
(8) The state patrol may adopt rules exempting operators or occupants of farm vehicles, construction equipment, and vehicles that are required to make frequent stops from the requirement of wearing safety belts.
RCW 4.24.235 Physicians — Immunity from liability regarding safety belts. A licensed physician shall not be liable for civil damages resulting directly or indirectly from providing, or refusing to provide, a written verification that a person under that physician's care us [is] unable to wear an automotive safety belt.
RCW 46.37.510 Seat belts and shoulder harnesses. (1) No person may sell any automobile manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1964, nor may any owner cause such vehicle to be registered thereafter under the provisions of chapter 46.12 RCW unless such motor car or automobile is equipped with automobile seat belts installed for use on the front seats thereof which are of a type and installed in a manner conforming to rules adopted by the state patrol. Where registration is for transfer from an out-of-state license, the applicant shall be informed of this section by the issuing agent and has thirty days to comply. The state patrol shall adopt and enforce standards as to what constitutes adequate and safe seat belts and for the fastening and installation of them. Such standards shall not be below those specified as minimum requirements by the Society of Automotive Engineers on June 13, 1963.
(2) Every passenger car manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1965, shall be equipped with at least two lap-type safety belt assemblies for use in the front seating positions.
(3) Every passenger car manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1968, shall be equipped with a lap-type safety belt assembly for each permanent passenger seating position. This requirement shall not apply to police vehicles.
(4) Every passenger car manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1968, shall be equipped with at least two shoulder harness-type safety belt assemblies for use in the front seating positions.
(5) The state patrol shall excuse specified types of motor vehicles or seating positions within any motor vehicle from the requirements imposed by subsections (1), (2), and (3) of this section when compliance would be impractical.
(6) No person may distribute, have for sale, offer for sale, or sell any safety belt or shoulder harness for use in motor vehicles unless it meets current minimum standards and specifications conforming to rules adopted by the state patrol or the United States department of transportation.
Seat Belt Laws May 2014
Seat belt laws are divided into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary seat belt laws allow law enforcement officers to ticket a driver or passenger for not wearing a seat belt, without any other traffic offense taking place. Secondary seat belt laws state that law enforcement officers may issue a ticket for not wearing a seat belt only when there is another citable traffic infraction.
33 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have primary seat belt laws for front seat occupants.
Rear Seats: In 16 of these states, D.C., Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, rear seats are also primary enforcement. In 4 of these states, rear seats are secondary. The remaining 13 and the Virgin Islands have no belt requirement for adults in rear seats.
16 states have secondary laws. In many of these states, the law is primary for younger drivers and/or passengers. Rear Seats: In 7 of these states, rear seats are also included. The remaining 10 have no belt requirements for adults in rear seats.
New Hampshire has enacted neither a primary nor a secondary seat belt law for adults, although the state does have a primary child passenger safety law that covers all drivers and passengers under 18.
Specific laws vary greatly from state to state, depending on the age of the rider and in what seat he or she is sitting. This chart covers seat belt laws for adults and young adults only. For requirements for infants, toddlers, and children, see GHSA's Child Passenger Safety Laws chart.
NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on adult seat belt laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.
Photo Are Taken 4 A Up Coming Court Case June 30 2014 Spokane Valley 1:30pm
What is the fine for improper use or failure to wear a seat belt or child safety restraint device?The fine is $124. Can I be issued a (Notice of Infraction) ticket for no seat belt if a person in my car is over 16?
No. The driver of a vehicle is only responsible for ensuring all persons 15 and under are properly secured in a seat belt or other safety restraint device as required by law. All persons age 16 and over may be issued a separate Notice of Infraction.I have an older vehicle. Is it required to have a seat belt?Every vehicle manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1965, shall be equipped with at least two lap-type safety belt assemblies for use in the front seating positions.Every passenger car manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1968, shall be equipped with a lap-type safety belt assembly for each permanent passenger seating position.Every passenger car manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1968, shall be equipped with at least two shoulder harness-type safety belt assemblies for use in the front seating positions.Rule of thumb: If your vehicle was originally equipped with safety belts, they must be in good working order and must be used. Do persons in a camper or motor home have to wear safety belts?
Persons in the driving compartment must use proper restraints. Persons in the living area should use restraints if there are restraints available. If my seat belt has a separate lap and shoulder belt, do I have to use both?
Yes.Does a Notice of Infraction for violation of the seat belt law go on my driving record?
Yes, but it is not made available to insurance companies. This violation is like any other Notice of Infraction. If it is not taken care of properly, your license will be suspended for fail to appear.Are there any exemptions to the seat belt law?
Yes, a driver or passenger who possesses written verification from a licensed physician that the driver or passenger is unable to wear a safety belt for physical or medical reasons does not have to wear the safety belt.
Most people have heard of “Click It or Ticket” campaigns. These campaigns are designed to raise awareness of wearing a seat belt while driving or riding in an automobile. According to some studies, 59% of people who died in an automobile-related accident were not wearing a seat belt. In fact, more lives are lost by people not wearing seat belt than by drunk driving. If you are caught driving without a seat belt, you may be issued a ticket by Washington law enforcement.
In Washington State, a driver may be charged with an infraction for every passenger under the age of 15 who is not wearing a seat belt. Passengers over the age of 16 may be issued a separate infraction notice. For violating Washington State seat belt laws, you could be fined $124. While a seat belt offense may be reported on your driving record, it is not available to insurance companies. Taking care of your ticket is important—failure to do so may result in a license suspension for failing to appear.
There are exemptions to the seat belt law. For example, a driver or passenger with a written doctor’s note stating that he or she is unable to wear a seat belt for medical or physical reasons does not have to wear the seat belt.
Washington’s seat belt laws require vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1964 to have at least two lap seat belts in the front seat. Vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1968 must have one lap seat belt for each passenger seat or at least two shoulder harness seat belts for the front seat. Pickup trucks manufactured after 1972 are also required to have seat belts.
Children under the age of 13 are required to sit in the back seat of a vehicle when practical. Washington State also requires the use of child restraints for children under a certain age and/or weight. For example, children less than one-year of age, or who weigh twenty pounds or less, should be secured in a rear-facing infant seat.
We do not fight seat belt tickets because in most cases, these tickets are not seen on the version of the driver's record for which insurance companies have access.
Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among persons aged 1--34 years in the United States (1). Safety belts are the single most effective means of reducing crash-related deaths (2). State laws have had a critical role in increasing belt use. As of December 2003, the District of Columbia (DC), 20 states, and three U.S. territories* had primary laws (i.e., primary enforcement safety-belt laws), which allow police to stop a motorist and issue a citation solely for being unbelted. Another 29 states had secondary laws, which allow police to issue a safety-belt citation only after stopping a motorist for a different violation. Primary laws are more effective than secondary laws for increasing safety-belt use and reducing traffic fatalities (3). To assess safety-belt use among U.S. states and territories with and without primary laws, CDC analyzed data from the 2002 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that the prevalence of self-reported safety-belt use was higher among states with primary laws (85.3%) than among states with secondary laws (74.4%). To reduce deaths from motor-vehicle crashes, states should consider enactment of primary laws.
In 2002, all 50 states, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) participated in BRFSS, a state-based, random-digit--dialed telephone survey of the noninstitutionalized, civilian U.S. population aged >18 years. Prevalence estimates were weighted to represent the state and territorial populations. SUDAAN was used to account for the complex sampling design.
Safety-belt use was estimated on the basis of responses to the following question: "How often do you use safety belts when you drive or ride in a car?" Response options were "always," "nearly always," "sometimes," "seldom," "never wear a belt," or "never drive or ride in cars." Respondents who never drove or rode in cars, refused to respond, or responded "don't know" (n = 807) were excluded from all analyses. Sample size for this study was 244,563; median response rate was 58.6% (range: 42.2%--82.6%). Jurisdictions were identified as having either primary or secondary safety-belt laws in effect during 2002. Washington enacted a primary law in July 2002 and was classified as a primary-law state for analysis; New Hampshire has no safety-belt law that applies to persons aged >18 years but was classified as a secondary-law state for analysis.
Among the 50 states and DC, prevalence of always using a safety belt ranged from 52.4% in North Dakota to 92.2% in California (Table). Safety-belt use was higher in states with primary laws (85.3%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 84.9%--85.7%) than in states with secondary laws (74.4%; 95% CI = 74.1%--74.8%). In addition, the prevalence of never using a safety belt among states with secondary laws (4.1%; 95% CI = 3.9%--4.3%) was more than double the prevalence among states with primary laws (1.8%; 95% CI = 1.7%--2.0%). Among territories, the prevalence of always using safety belts was 85.7% in Guam, 92.6% in Puerto Rico, and 77.2% in USVI (Table). A total of 18 states, DC, and the three territories had primary laws during the study period; 17 of these 22 jurisdictions reported safety-belt use of >80% (Figure). All 12 states with <.70% belt use had secondary laws.
Increasing the use of safety belts could substantially reduce deaths from motor-vehicle crashes in the United States, where safety-belt use ranks among the lowest of high-income countries (i.e., countries with annual gross national product of >$9,206 per capita) (4). Residents of states with secondary laws were less likely to use safety belts than residents of states with primary laws, a finding supported by observational studies (i.e., studies in which belt use is observed directly by an independent data collector) (5). In contrast to BRFSS, observational studies provide information about safety-belt use for a single occasion and for drivers and front-seat passengers only. In 2002, the prevalence of observed safety-belt use was 69% in states with secondary laws and 80% in states with primary laws (5). The findings in this report are subject to at least three limitations. First, BRFSS excludes households without telephones; however, because only an estimated 2.4% of U.S. homes are without telephones, this limitation should have minimal impact on the findings. Second, the BRFSS sample is limited to noninstitutionalized, civilian adults and might not be representative of safety-belt use among youths, institutionalized persons, or military personnel. Finally, the data are self-reported, and social-desirability bias might result in overestimates of safety-belt use.
In April 1997, the U.S. Department of Transportation recommended that all states enact and actively enforce primary enforcement safety-belt laws (6). Since those recommendations were issued, only eight additional states have enacted primary laws. As of December 2003, a total of 29 states had secondary laws, and one state (New Hampshire) had no law mandating safety-belt use by adults.
Perceived public opposition to primary laws is a potential barrier to their implementation. Infringement on personal freedom and the potential for differential enforcement on the basis of race/ethnicity are the concerns voiced most frequently (7). However, a national survey conducted in 2000 indicated that 61% of U.S. residents supported primary laws, with support higher in states with primary laws (70%) than in states with secondary laws (53%) (8). In response to concerns about differential enforcement, certain states have added anti-harassment language to their laws to reduce the potential for discrimination (7); available evidence does not demonstrate problems with differential enforcement (9).
On the basis of systematic reviews of published studies, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services issues recommendations on population-based interventions to promote health and prevent disease, injury, disability, and premature death. The Task Force recommends the use of primary laws because of strong evidence demonstrating that they have a greater impact than secondary laws (10). The Task Force also recommends high-visibility enforcement of the laws (e.g., safety-belt checkpoints) to further increase safety-belt use (10). The findings in this report indicate that differences in safety-belt use persist on the basis of the type of law in effect in the state. States should consider primary-enforcement safety-belt laws as an effective strategy to increase safety-belt use and decrease serious injuries and deaths associated with motor-vehicle crashes.
A primary seat belt law may be in Washington’s future.Since the Legislature has failed to pass a primary belt law in the past, despite support from law enforcement and public safety officials, the Missouri Department of Transportation is now urging municipalities to pass local ordinances, according to Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer.
“We’re trying to get fatalities down in Missouri,” Wagner told members of the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee Monday.
“We’ve been unsuccessful at getting a primary law passed at the state level so now we’re going to municipalities to see if they will pass a safety belt law,” she said.
Wagner asked the committee to consider recommending adopting a primary safety belt law. The committee then voted unanimously to recommend that the city council consider passing a local ordinance.
Missouri municipalities may pass laws that are more restrictive, but not less restrictive, than state laws.
Missouri currently has a secondary seat belt law which means that a police officer can issue citations for not wearing seat belts only when a vehicle is stopped for another violation. The fine is $10 and no court costs are assessed.
A primary law, on the other hand, would allow an officer to issue tickets if he or she observes a driver or occupants of a vehicle not wearing seat belts.
In September 2008, the St. Louis County Council passed a primary law for unincorporated areas of St. Louis County. Since then, 18 other municipalities have adopted local primary ordinances, according to a handbook prepared by MoDOT.
According to statewide statistics, 429 out of 632 vehicle occupants killed in crashes on Missouri roads were not buckled up. That is 67.9 percent.
Between 2006 and 2010, 88.4 percent of pickup truck occupants killed in crashes were not wearing safety belts. The fatality rate was 77.5 percent for teen occupants and 88.2 percent for impaired vehicle occupants.
In Franklin County from 2008-2010, 37 people who were not wearing seat belts died in traffic crashes, including 13 in 2008, six in 2009 and 18 in 2010.
In that same three-year period, 152 people who weren’t wearing safety belts sustained disabling injuries in crashes throughout Franklin County, according to the MoDOT study.
The following municipalities in the St. Louis region have adopted primary seat belt laws:
Ballwin, Brentwood, Calverton Park, Charlack, Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley;
Creve Coeur, Edmundson, Herculaneum, New Melle, St. John and Webster Groves.
Currently, 31 states and the District of Columbia have primary seat belt laws.
The national average for safety belt use is 85 percent. The average in Missouri in 2010 was 76 percent.
The MoDOT handbook that’s being issued to area municipalities contains a sample ordinance to consider for adoption.
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