• May 8, 2009
Drivers and front-seat passengers in Florida may be cited for not wearing seat belts when a new law takes effect on June 30. Known as a "primary" seat belt law, the law allows enforcement officers to pull vehicles over solely for a belt violation (a "secondary" seat belt law requires another infraction to take place before a ticket may be issued). Florida is only the 28th state to enact a primary seat belt law, while the remainder have secondary laws and New Hampshire has no seatbelt law whatsoever.
Signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist earlier this week, the legislation makes Florida eligible for up to $35 million in federal grant money created in 2005 as an incentive for states to establish seat belt laws. While Florida's fine for the nonmoving seat belt violation will be a mere $30, studies show that drivers are 13% more likely to fasten their belts if they can be pulled over for it. While the millions in federal money and ticket revenue are both incentives to the state, that's not the primary motivation behind it. "This bill will save lives," the governor said. "That's what is important."

[Source: Palm Beach Post]


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  • 38 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      im glad the FL police have found a way to get through the recession.
      last i checked i was supposed to have the choice of wearing a seatbelt or not, apparently the govt has decided to make that choice for me.
      they have no place in this, i would give them more leeway if it only applied to minors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Check again bdan

        "Florida Statute - XXIII - 316.614 - Safety belt usage
        (4b) It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle in this state unless the person is restrained by a safety belt."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. I always wear a seatbelt. But if someone is dumb enough to not wear one, it affects no one's safety but their own. Children, like you said, are a different story.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, someone not wearing a seatbelt DOES affect my safety if, for example, they run into me. If front passengers can bust through their own windshield, they can bust through mine, too, and I don't need that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      While the millions in federal money and ticket revenue are both incentives to the state, that's not the primary motivation behind it. "This bill will save lives," the governor said. "That's what is important."

      Bull, I'm a FL native. We're in a huge state budget deficit, that's the only reason why this bill was signed into law. If my state government was truly interested in saving lives, this would have became law long ago. Regardless, it doesn't affect me as I wear my seat belt at all times.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea, I am so sick of the federal government holding money over the states heads to make them pass the laws the feds want them to pass. It was the same way with raising the drinking age to 21 and lowering the legal intoxication level to .08. If the federal government wants to take away states' right to make their own laws, I wish they'd just be upfront about it rather than this backhanded bribery crap.
      • 5 Years Ago
      as far as I know this has been in effect for years in ohio and michigan. i don't see why they should get federal aid for simply "catching up" with other states in the traffic laws department.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This law has no other purpose than to generate money for ignorant politicians and governments that can't balance a budget at our expense.
      The way to combat this law is not to lobby against it, but to lobby for the banning of all motorcycles, jet skis, boats, ATVs, etc.
      If my 4,000 pound car with 10 air bags is not safe for me to drive without wearing a seat belt then surely these other vehicles are downright super dangerous to operate.
      I would challenge any motorcycle office that pulled me over for this to race me head on at 60 miles an hour and see who comes out better in the end. All the leathers and helmets in the world won't save him.
      This is what happens the spineless mass let the government regulate and tax them to death.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Only idiots don't wear seat belts and bleat on about the constitution and their right to choose not to wear them. Maybe some of them should take a look at a non-seat belt wearing vehicle occupant who's just been in an accident. It's not pretty. Airbags won't save you, seat belts will...unless of course this is all part of Darwin's grand plan to rid the world of such fools.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thats what more people need to realize, WE THE PEOPLE..... We are the people. the government belongs to us not the other way round. We established the UNITED STATES to free ourselves from dictatorship not to be forced into conformity by a tyrant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      With the way some people drive here in Florida you know better to buckle up. It's almost second nature now...what i would like to see is money spent on making it more strict drivers license standards...but then again like many said the govt would just lose all the extra money when it's realized that roughly half of all Florida drivers need not be driving in the first place
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know people who refuse to wear a seatbelt because a family member was killed by a seatbelt...

      It drives me crazy!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The article states NH does not have a seatbelt law at all and that's not true. I live in NH and there is a seatbelt law for all persons under age 18.

      I wear my seatbelt every time I drive. EVERY TIME. That being said, just a couple weeks ago the NH legislature tried to pull this primary seatbelt law crap on us and thank goodness our Senate had the common sense to kill the bill. One poster wrote something to the effect that the gov't makes the roads so they make the rules. Um, no. We the people decide what our gov't does. NH residents made it well-known their opposition to the seatbelt law and the Senate did the right thing and killed the bill. That's called DEMOCRACY. Don't ever just lay down passively and let the gov't control your life. We control the gov't, not the other way around. Remember that!

      Seatbelt laws are not about safety at all, despite their claims. Seatbelt laws are only for "revenue enhancement", although no politician will ever admit this. NH, like many states, is facing a massive deficit due to their inability to understand the concept of cutting spending so they revisited the seatbelt law so they could get $3.5m from the Feds. Revenue is what the spend-crazy politicians wants, not safety.

      There are plenty of things states could be doing to make our roads safer, but instead they only post laws that raise revenues for them. For instance, it should a LOT harder to get a driver's license. The state should require people to demonstrate skid control (which is a huge problem up here in NH when it snows), they should make car inspections more frequent (there are so many obviously unsafe beaters on the roads with bald tires, worn out shocks, etc), they should improve line painting (how about using reflective paint??), enact laws that require you to turn on your headlights when it's raining...you see where I'm going with this.

      One final thought... It has been proven in multiple studies that seatbelt laws DO NOT lower insurance payments. Anyone who thinks it does lacks business common sense. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses and they will charge as much as the market will bear for their product. If they were to realize savings from a seatbelt law, they will NOT pass those savings onto you in the form of reduced premiums. They will pocket these savings as profit.


      • 5 Years Ago
      Someday,

      when the steering wheel is removed from cars, all this will go away-
      traffic cops
      traffic courts
      traffic signs
      auto insurance
      traffic laws (most of them)
      40,000 deaths a year (CDC)

      basically, just getting nickeled and dime'd to death just because we
      have a need & a right to travel from point A to point B.

      this is what happens when you let ignorant greedy corporations dictate
      public transportation.

      band aid, band aid, fix

      repeat ad nauseum.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a question for anyone. I received a ticket for not wearing my seatbelt, and the officer called it "non-moving violation", he charged me $100 fine. But I see that the fine for the new law is only $30. Do I only pay $30? If I have to pay $100, can I protest this? I don't want to go to court, but I don't want to pay $100 for a "secondary" seat belt violation, if the "primary" seat belt law is $30. It doesn't make sense to pay less, for a greater infraction.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't believe some of the ignorant posters here. Here in Ontario, having to wear your seat belt has been the law for a while now. All laws aside though, it's shocking why somebody would NOT want to wear one. It's the same mentality as saying your 1969 Camaro is a "real" car and a 2009 911 Turbo is just some fancy tin can. Why is it the same mentality? Because these people spew BS out of their mouth and try and justify it with irrational sh!t. I'm going to save the little breath that I have left because our world will always have toolbags.
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