Seat Belt Law – Summary
(G.S. 20-135.2A)

For the text of this law, click here to download a PDF version from the NC General Assembly website.

Ages/Positions Covered:

All drivers and passengers age 16 and older must wear their seat belts in both the front and back seats. Children less than age 16 are covered by the NC Child Passenger Safety law.

Vehicles Covered:

The seat belt law applies to all vehicles required by federal standards to have seat belts. In general, these are cars made after 1967 and light trucks, vans, and SUVs made after 1971.

Restraint Required:

The law requires use of the entire seat belt system present in the seat. Unless a seating position has a lap-belt-onlt seat belt, both the lap and shoulder belt must be properly worn. Placing the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm is not allowed.

Exemptions:

The following exemptions to the law exist:

  • Vehicles not required to have belts. In general, these are cars made before 1968 and light trucks, vans, and SUVs made before 1972.
  • Drivers of noncommercial motor vehicles with a professionally certified medical condition or mental phobia preventing use.
  • Rural letter carriers and newspaper carriers while performing duties.
  • Frequently stopping delivery vehicles if speed between stops does not exceed 20 mph.
  • Vehicles with “Farm” license plates while being used for agricultural purposes in intrastate commerce.
  • Any occupant of a motor home, as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)d2, other than the driver and front seat passengers.
  • Backseat occupants of law enforcement vehicles while in custody.
  • Passengers of residential garbage or recycling trucks during collection rounds.

Responsibility:

  • The driver of the vehicle is responsible for himself and all children less than sixteen.
  • Passengers ages sixteen and older are responsible for themselves.

Penalties:

Drivers and Front Seat Occupants Ages 16 and Older

  • Penalty of $25.50
  • Court costs ($135.50 as of August, 2011)
  • No driver license or insurance points are assessed.

Rear Seat Occupants Ages 16 and Older

  • Penalty of $10
  • No court costs
  • No driver license or insurance points are assessed.

 

 

Site sponsored by