Wearing of seat belts are mandatory in 49 states except in New Hampshire, where only those under 18 are required to buckle up.Take note that safety belt laws cover front-seat passengers only in some states, while those in29 states and D.C. cover all rear-seat occupants, as stated by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. VroomVroomVroom explains the difference between primary and secondary enforcement.
Seat belt laws for adults may vary from state to state. Different states in the USA have adopted what are referred to as primary enforcement or secondary enforcement seat belt laws.
Primary enforcement means a police officer may pull a driver over because the seat belt is not in use. According to Transportation and Health Tool, as of August 1, 2013, only 17 states and the District of Columbia had a primary enforcement seat belt law covering all seating positions, and only 16 states had a primary enforcement seat belt law covering only the front seat. Primary enforcement is considered the most comprehensive seat belt policy because it covers all passengers, regardless of where they are sitting in the vehicle.
Secondary enforcement states the driver must first be pulled over for a different offense before citing a driver or passenger for not wearing a seat belt. Currently, only 17 states had a secondary enforcement seat belt law or no law.
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