Current implementation status

  • Teen drivers are covered by seat belt laws in all States (with the exception of New Hampshire, which only requires seat belts for people under 18). 8
  • In 15 states, seat belt use requirements are part of GDL legislation as a violation that can lead to delayed advancement through the system, although seat belt violations may not be specifically mentioned and sanctions for violating this requirement vary across these States 9.
  • The North Carolina GDL law does call out seat belt use specifically and requires everyone in the vehicle to be properly restrained. If anyone is not wearing a seat belt, drivers can be cited.
  • Some States only have primary enforcement for certain occupants (for instance drivers or people older than a specified age) and secondary enforcement for other occupants (for example, North Carolina‚Äôs seat belt law is primary for drivers and front seat passengers 16 and older but secondary for rear seat passengers 16 and older). 10

8Williams, 2007; Goodwin et al., 2016

9AAA, 2005; Goodwin et al., 2016

10Goodwin et al., 2016