What You Need To Know About Pennsylvania Seat Belt Laws
- Drivers in Pennsylvania should be aware of the specific laws, rules, and regulations that pertain to road safety. By staying aware of these laws, drivers can avoid costly tickets and, more importantly, stay safe on the road. There are a number of seat belt laws that pertain to everyday driving.
- Primary and secondary enforcement laws dictate the actions that law enforcement officers may take when a driver or passenger fails to wear proper restraint devices in an operating vehicle.
- Seat belt laws also outline special considerations related to the safety of children.
Learn More About PA Seat Belt Laws
There are two types of enforcement laws for restraint devices in vehicles. The types of laws include primary enforcement and secondary enforcement. Primary enforcement laws allow police officers to pull drivers over specifically for not wearing their seat belts. Secondary laws allow police officers to pull drivers over for other violations, and then ticket if seat belts aren’t being used.
These laws vary by state
- Primary Enforcement Laws
The Pennsylvania laws allow a police officer to pull over any person operating a motor vehicle that lacks the sufficient number of seat belt restraints. Every passenger in the vehicle must have a functioning restraint device in order for the driver to be legally permitted to operate the vehicle. According to Pennsylvania law, the operation of a vehicle with fewer seat belt restraints than passengers is not permitted.
- Secondary Enforcement Laws
Secondary enforcement in the state of Pennsylvania dictates that all passengers in a vehicle must be wearing a seat belt restraint while the vehicle is in operation. The driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring that children under the age of 18 are properly restrained. Drivers who are convicted of a violation of the secondary enforcement seat belt laws are subject to a fine for their first offense.
- There are some exceptions to this law: verified medical exemptions, drivers of rural mail-carrying vehicles, and slow-moving delivery vehicles.
- Drivers who are transporting children under the age of eight are responsible for ensuring that each child is properly restrained in a special device made for passengers too small for effective seat belt use.
- Child restraint systems are typically sold in retail stores and are marked to specify the height and weight for which the device is appropriate.
- Primary enforcement of child car seat belt laws dictates that a driver is responsible for the restraint of passengers from birth through age eight.
- Secondary enforcement of child seat belt laws dictates that the driver is responsible for the restraint of passengers from age four to eight, via a proper booster seat.
- Anyone violating this law is subject to a fine and all associated court costs. The individual will also be required to provide proof of purchase of a proper child restraint system.
- Pennsylvania seat belt laws are not simply a matter of legal consideration. These laws are established to ensure that the driver and all passengers of a motor vehicle remain safe while the vehicle is being operated.
- Seat belt restraints are critical for injury prevention. Similarly, child restraint systems ensure that young passengers are also protected.