New Jersey Seat Belt Laws
Motor vehicle crashes are incredibly common, causing severe injuries and fatalities every day. It’s important to follow all safety guidelines any time you’re on the road as a driver or a passenger. The New Jersey seat belt laws are in place to protect as many people as possible, and it’s important that you always abide by them.
All Occupants Must Wear Seatbelts
If you’re in an automobile in New Jersey, you are almost certainly required to wear a seatbelt. This is true for all drivers and passengers over the age of 8 regardless of where in the car they’re located. Seatbelts are required for adults and children. The seatbelt laws apply to all cars, trucks, SUVs, and any vehicle that is required to be equipped with seatbelts.
There are few exceptions to the New Jersey seatbelt laws, including the following:
- Drivers and front seat passengers in automobiles manufactured before July 1st, 1966, are not required to wear a seatbelt.
- A driver or passenger in an automobile does not have to wear a seatbelt if they have a note from a licensed physician stating that they are unable to wear a seatbelt for physical or medical reasons.
- Drivers of USPS vehicles in some areas are not required to wear seatbelts while delivering mail.
Children Under 8 Years Old
For children under the age of 8 and under 57 inches tall, there are different requirements.
- Children under 2 years old and 30 pounds are required to be secured in a rear-facing seat. The safety seat must have a 5-point harness.
- Children under 4 years old and 40 pounds must be secured in the same manner until they reach the limits of a rear-facing car seat. Once this occurs, they must be secured in a front-facing car seat that utilizes a 5-point harness.
- Children under 8 years old and 57 inches tall must be secured as described above until they hit the upper limits of the car seats. Once this occurs, they must be placed in a booster seat.
The Importance of Seat Belts
Consider the following statistics to see the great importance of seat belt laws in New Jersey:
- Air bags alone are not enough to protect drivers and passengers in automobiles; studies continue to show that seatbelts help save lives.
- Approximately 131 individuals not wearing seatbelts are killed in motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey each year.
- In 2017, more than 37,000 people were killed in automobile accidents in the United States. Almost 50 percent of the victims were not wearing seatbelts.
- In the past 10 years, more than 1,500 people who died in New Jersey car accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
If you’re caught not wearing a seatbelt, you could be fined up to $46. It is considered a non-moving violation, so you won’t receive any points on your driving record. It’s important to understand that a police office is permitted to pull you over simply for failing to wear a seatbelt in the front seat if they spot it; it is a primary offense. It is a secondary violation to fail to wear a seatbelt if you are located in the rear of the vehicle, so an officer cannot pull a car over for the sole reason of seeing a backseat passenger not wearing a belt.
Car accidents occur often, and seat belts can save lives. Always take the appropriate safety precautions. If you were injured in a car accident and need assistance, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.