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Seat Belt Laws Across the Nation

September 30, 2005

Currently, 22 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have passed primary seat belt laws, which allow police to stop motorists who fail to wear their seat belts:

Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

The remaining states have secondary seat belt laws, which allow police to issue a seat belt violation only if a driver is stopped for another infraction. The exception is New Hampshire, which has no adult safety belt law:

Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Source: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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