As of the beginning of 2016, Tennessee has stricter seat belt laws. The fine for not wearing your seat belt has gone up from $10 to $25 for first-time offenders, and it has increased from $20 to $ 50 for repeat offenders. According to the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security, over 300 people died on Tennessee roadways in 2015 because they were not wearing seat belts. In that time period, state troopers issued over 100,000 seat belt citations.
Other states have increased fines related to seat belt violations and have seen a significant increase in seat belt usage and decrease in fatalities due to not wearing a seat belt. Tennessee law enforcement officials hope to see the same results in our state.
While the increased fine is new, the law to wear a seat belt is not new. Here are four other things you should know about Tennessee’s seat belt laws:
- It is primary enforcement. This means an officer can pull you over and ticket you solely for not wearing a seat belt.
- Drivers can be fined for their own seat belt violation as well as the seat belt violation of passengers under 18 years old. Any passengers 16 or older who have a driver’s license will be ticketed for their own seat belt violations, though.
- Whatever seat belt is available must be used to its full capacity. This means both the shoulder belt and lap belt should be used when both are available.
- With younger children (generally those 8 or younger), car seat and booster seat laws must be obeyed. If you have a child 8 or younger, you should be aware of the state minimum car seat and booster seat requirements.
Unfortunately, even if you are wearing a seat belt, you might be involved in a car wreck. If you were injured in a car accident where the other driver was at fault, our Nashville car accident attorneys can help you. Contact us to learn more.