Many of us have driven without buckling up. Whether you’re in a hurry, you don’t like the way a seat belt feels or you simply forget, you may be among the thousands of Californians who choose to drive without a seat belt.
Police officers watch for drivers and passengers who aren’t wearing seat belts, though,and they aren’t shy about pulling over seat belt violators and issuing tickets.
Every person riding in a car is required to use a certified safety restraint system such as asafety seat or seat belt.
Anyone 16 years of age or older can get a ticket for not using a seat belt. Typically, a driver is responsible for their passengers conduct as well as their own actions and can receive a ticket for any violation inside their vehicle.
You’ll be cited and fined $445 if you have child under 6, or a child who weighs less than 60 pounds, who is not in a car seat. If you can’t afford a car seat, the court can waive the fine and refer you to a program that will help you get a car seat. The fine will be increased for subsequent violations, and the court will not waive the fine after the first offense.
For children over 6 years old or weighing more than 60 pounds found not wearing a seatbelt, the fine is $445 on the initial offense, along with a demerit point on your license, and increased for any further violations. If it’s the driver’s first offense, the court can send the offender to a defensive driving school instead of issuing a fine.
Regarding anyone age 16 or older, the court can fine you $142 on the initial offense and increased on all future offenses.
Under the law very young children have to ride in the back seat of the car and placed inside a child safety seat unless they are over the age of six or weigh over 60 pounds. The safety seat must be in working order and meet state safety requirements. Remember that it is illegal for a child to ride in the front seat of a car in a safety seat, facing the back seat. This law exists because airbags when deployed can slam into the safety seat and cause grievous harm to the child and even death. Violating this law can result in compounded charges against you.
The California Motor Vehicle Safety Act and section 27315 of the Vehicle Code describes the specific cases in California in which people are required to use a seatbelt as well as all applicable exemptions. The only folks exempt from using seat belts are those riding in taxi cabs or limos. Cab and limo drivers have to buckle up, they are not responsible for passengers who do not use their seat belts, but there have to be working seat belts available for all passengers, even if the passengers aren’t required to use them by law.
The driver must make sure that everyone in the vehicle is wearing their seat belt properly. Even if the other passengers are 16 years of age or older, the liability is on the driver. If there are children in the car, and their parents are not present, then the driver is required to secure the children’s seat belts. However, if the parents are present then they must handle securing their children and can be cited.
If you are cited with a seat belt ticket, be smart and get help. Find a seat belt ticket lawyer in Sacramento who knows how to fight the citation. Seat belt tickets can raise your insurance rates. Successfully fighting a seat belt ticket is the best way to avoid the fines and prevent damage your reputation as a driver.
Call us at 916-303-2800 or contact us online for the help you deserve.