Penalties for California Seat Belt Law Violation
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It may seem absurd now, but there was a time when seat belts were omitted from cars altogether. Laws mandating the wearing of seat belts did not exist—the primary issue was getting them into cars in the first place. However, since 1986 the state of California has mandated that all drivers buckle up. Let’s take a look at a few safety and law-related seat belt topics.
Back in 1986, a debate raged over the need for seat belts. Car manufacturers wanted seat belts, so that they didn’t have to install mandatory airbags into each vehicle. Insurance agencies wanted airbags and seat belts to reduce liability-risk. Airbags were designed to work alongside seat belts not to take the place of them. If one is not wearing a seat belt, they can be thrown into the airbag and hurt themselves in a manner similar to being ejected from their car.
Even with safety being a top priority throughout automobile history, the enforcement of seat belt laws didn’t really sink in until the 2005 “Click It or Ticket” law. This law helped increase the rate of seat belt in California from 92.5% in 2005 to 97.4% in 2014. This means that over 1.5 million more occupants in vehicles wore seat belts due to the passing of the law. What are the current California seat belt violation fines? A minimum of $162 for the first offense, and, if it is a child who is not restrained then the price increases to a minimum of $465.
In California, there are strict laws in place to ensure the implementation of seat belt usage, but how effective are they? Police can pull drivers over for not wearing a seat belt and issue them a ticket. Yet, one in seven people still do not fasten their seat belt. Education on the importance of buckling up has increased around 74% since 1981. “Enhanced enforcement” is working to better enforce the seat belt laws by increasing the number of citations each officer is required to issue and by also increasing the number of officers on highway patrol. These initiatives are reinforced by many different support groups such as the “click it or ticket” initiative.
Nearly every car currently being developed is able to recognize that a seat is occupied and will audibly alert the driver and passengers or flash a light if seat belts are not fastened. Some vehicles also take into account the distance and speed a car is going and therefore adjust its noise and annoyance level based on the driving maneuver. For example, it will beep quieter if a driver is parking rather than driving seventy miles an hour on the freeway. This technique is just another way that auto-manufacturers are trying to keep their customers safe and help uphold the seat belt laws.
Seat belts have (hopefully) become a part of our everyday routine to the extent that we don’t think twice about putting them on. But this is only because of the pressure that was put on by a variety of entities, whether they be governmental agencies, or automobile manufacturers. However, if you do find yourself forgetting to buckle up and you receive a seatbelt violation ticket, all hope is not lost. GetDismissed can help you fight all traffic tickets, including seat belt citations. Proper seat belt usage is priority number one, but if you slip up, call GetDismissed at: (800)-580-3769
GetDismissed produces results in fighting all kinds of tickets. Unfortunately, this list does not include exhibition of speed citations. Your best bet in fighting one of these infractions, is to contact an attorney. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf to try and reduce fines, or even to reduce the charges to a lesser infraction which could possibly qualify for traffic school.
We do however, contest infractions revolving around speeding, red lights, red light cameras, cell phones, signs (primarily stop signs), carpool violations, U-turns, out of lane violations, and commercial violations. If you receive a citation and have questions, contact us today.