Click it or Ticket – Pennsylvania and New Jersey Police Stepping Up Seat Belt Enforcement

May 20, 2013

Seat Belts Save Lives and Pennsylvania and New Jersey Police will be Stepping Up Seat Belt Enforcement In May and June

I have seen the results of many car accidents, including those resulting from being thrown from a vehicle, and I can tell you, your chances of surviving a car accident are substantially increased by wearing a seat belt. Period. I have been unfortunate enough to see the results of an ejectment first hand, when a friend suffered a brain injury due to her flying out the passenger window when her car rolled and hitting. She landed on the street, head first.  I was called to the hospital just in time to watch the doctor stitch up the nasty-looking head wound. I also watched her struggle for recovery.  She was never the same person again.

Had she been wearing her seat belt she never would have suffered such a traumatic brain injury (TBI). She might have been hurt, down and out for a few days, but she wouldn’t have seen the life she knew end as a result of that accident, and a difficult and painful life begin. She will suffer for the rest of her life due to her mistake, which resulted from failing to re-buckle her belt after she grabbed her Pennsylvania turnpike toll ticket.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) states that seat belts reduce the risk of death or serious injury in a car crash 50%.

Avoid a Ticket – Wear your Seat Belt

If my true story about my friend isn’t enough for you, perhaps avoiding a ticket will help. Here in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the police are going to be increasing their enforcement of seat belt laws.

Some people argue, well if I wear a seat belt, I could end up with a more serious injury.  The likelihood of this is minimal, and in fact, if your seat belt causes great injury, you could have a product liability case, because something probably failed with the seat belt production. The biggest injury most people get from a seat belt is a sore from the line where they were restrained, down across their chests.

Others argue that the government doesn’t have the right to force them to wear a seat belt.  Here’s the reality, this issue is long settled by the courts, such arguments won’t get you out of a ticket. The government does have the right to order you to wear a seat belt. Like it or not, in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, it is the law. You have to wear a seat belt.

What is the Law?

In Pennsylvania:

  • All drivers must wear a seat belt. No matter your age. This must be the manufacturer’s seat belt, which must fit properly.
  • All passengers, no matter where they are located in the car, must wear a seat belt.
  • Children under 4 must be in a car seat. The seat must fit the child properly for her height and weight and the child must be properly restrained.
  • Children between 4 and 8 have to use a booster seat that is the correct size, working with a seat belt, or must be in a federally approved, appropriately sized car seat.

In Pennsylvania you cannot be pulled over just for failing to wear a seat belt. However, if you have a child under 4 in the car who is not in a car seat, that is a primary offense, meaning the office can pull you over for that alone.

In New Jersey:

  • If you are driving a car that is required to have a seat belt, you must wear a seat belt. This means all passenger vehicles, vans, pickup trucks, SUVs, etc.
  • As of 2010, all occupants must be properly restrained. This includes passengers in the front or back seats.
  • A child up to 8 or 80 pounds must ride in a safety or booster seat in the rear seat. If there is no rear seat, the child may sit in the front seat.
  • A child under 8 who weights more than 80 pounds must wear a seat belt and can sit anywhere in the car.
  • A child over 8 must wear a seat belt and can sit anywhere in the car.
  • The driver is responsible for anyone who is not properly restrained and is under the age of 18.

As in Pennsylvania, the law in New Jersey is a secondary offense, meaning you cannot be pulled over just for failing to wear your seat belt.

Click it or Ticket

Click It or Ticket is a zero tolerance enforcement program. This program will take place from May 20 through June 2, 2013 in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and many other states around the country.


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