Sunday, May 20, marks the beginning of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s annual Memorial Day “Click It or Ticket” campaign. For one week on either side of Memorial Day, law enforcement will be on high alert for seat belt violations.
In North Carolina, everyone age 16 and older must wear a seat belt. That means that the driver, the front seat passenger and anyone in the back seat must be buckled in. Drivers with children younger than 16 must follow the state’s 0child passenger safety law and ensure that the child is using the proper restraint for his age and weight.
It is important to remember that the law applies to just aboutr every car, light truck and van on the roads. Drivers from out of state will not be spared the traffic ticket: The second you cross the state border, North Carolina laws apply.
According to the NHTSA, men between the ages of 18 and 34 are the least likely to buckle up. The agency also says that more violations occur at night. Day or night, though, the agency says that seat belts do save lives.
Law enforcement, of course, can go too far for some drivers. One North Carolina community complained recently that two state troopers handed out 59 tickets in one weekend. Of those, five were for driving while intoxicated and 32 were for seat belt violations. The troopers set up roadblocks and conducted random license checks over the two-day period.
While residents accused the troopers of harassment and using the weekend as an opportunity for a “money grab,” the officers did find violators. Had drivers and their passengers buckled up, fewer tickets would have been written.
Source: Time, “Peak Traffic Ticket Season Is Here: Police Pushed to Give More Seat Belt Violation Citations,” Brad Tuttle, May 15, 2013