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Ballot Questions Tex and Explanations - Law 2

Referred Law 2


An Act to require the use of safety belt systems in passenger vehicles.


This law would require front seat occupants of cars, vans, motor homes, or trucks, to wear seat belts. Vehicles manufactured before September 1, 1973, motorcycles, buses, farm tractors, and certain other vehicles, are exempted. Drivers must require that front seat passengers under 18 wear seat belts. Current law already requires that children under 5 be in seat belts and children under 2 be in child safety seats.

Violation of this law is a petty offense with a $20 civil fine. Violators may be ticketed for this offense only if the vehicle is stopped for some other reason.

  • A vote "YES" will require front seat occupants to wear seat belts.
  • A vote "NO" will not require the use of seat belts.

Full Text of Referred Law 2:

Section 1. Except as provided in chapter 32-37 and section 3 of this Act, every operator and front seat passenger of a passenger vehicle operated on a public highway in this state shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety seat belt system, required to be installed in the passenger vehicle when manufactured pursuant to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 208 (49 C.F.R. 571.208) in effect January 1, 1989, at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion. The driver of the passenger vehicle shall secure or cause to be secured a properly adjusted and fastened safety seat belt system on any passenger in the front seat who is at least five years of age but younger than eighteen years of age. Any violation of this section is not a moving traffic offense under the provisions of  32-12-49.1.

Section 2. For the purposes of this Act, a passenger vehicle is any self-propelled vehicle intended primarily for use and operation on the public highways including passenger cars, station wagons, vans, taxicabs, emergency vehicles, motor homes, trucks, and pickups. The term does not include motorcycles, motor scooters, motor bicycles, motorized bicycles, passenger buses, and school buses. The term also does not include farm tractors and implements of husbandry designed primarily or exclusively for use in agricultural operations.

Section 3. The provisions of section 1 of this Act do not apply to:

(1) Any occupant of a passenger vehicle manufactured before September 1, 1973;

(2) Any occupant of a passenger vehicle who possesses a written statement from a doctor licensed under chapter 36-4 or 36-5 that the individual is unable for medical reasons to wear a safety seat belt system;

(3) Any occupant of a vehicle not equipped with a safety seat belt system because federal law does not require that vehicle to be so equipped; or

(4) Any rural carrier of the United States postal service while serving his rural postal route or any person delivering newspapers or periodicals on an assigned home delivery route.

Section 4. Failure to comply with the provisions of this Act does not constitute contributory negligence, comparative negligence or assumption of the risk. Failure to comply with the provisions of this Act may not be introduced as evidence in any criminal litigations other than a prosecution under this Act or in any civil litigation on the issue of injuries or on the issue of mitigation of damages.

Section 5. Enforcement of this Act by state or local law enforcement agencies shall be accomplished as a secondary action. A violation of this Act is a petty offense.

Section 6. The effective date of section 5 of this Act is January 1, 1995.