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?
- 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.