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  Seat / Belt Laws  

Why Buckle Up?

Studies show seat belts do save lives and reduce injuries during crashes.
Seat belts work with air bags to protect occupants. Air bags alone are not enough to safeguard occupants.
In New Jersey, an average of 150 unrestrained motor vehicle drivers and passengers are killed in crashes each year.
Seat belts have saved nearly 63,000 lives during the 5-year-period from 2008 to 2012 in the United States.
Seat belt use in 2012 reached 86 percent, a significant increase from 84 percent in 2011 in the United States.
In 2011, 21,253 occupants of passenger vehicles died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States. Of the 21,253 total occupants killed, 9,439 were restrained. Restraint use was not known for 1,634 occupants. Looking at only occupants where the restraint status was known 52% were unrestrained at the time of the crash.
More than 2,000 unbuckled drivers and front seat passengers died on New Jersey's roadways in the past 10 years.
Approximately 700 unbuckled drivers and front seat passengers were thrown out of their vehicles during crashes and killed in the past 10 years. 
New Jersey’s Seat Belt Law: (NJS 39:3-76.2f) 
Applies to all passenger vehicles including vans, pickup trucks and SUV's, that are required to be equipped with seat belts.
Applies to all passengers, who are at least 8 years of age but less than 18 years of age, and each driver and front seat passenger of a passenger automobile, operated on a street or highway. All of these occupants are required to wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt system.
On January 18, 2010, legislation was signed into law requiring all occupants to buckle up, regardless of their seating position in a vehicle. A secondary offense, the new law allows police to issue summonses to unbuckled back seat occupants, 18 years of age and older, when the vehicle they are riding in is stopped for another violation. The law is effective immediately.
Makes the driver responsible for proper seat belt use by all occupants who are under the age of 18.

Seat Belt Palm Card - Emphasizing the life-saving advantages of wearing a seat belt regardless of seating position, this two-side palm card features both the Click It Or Ticket and 100% Buckle Up programs.



New Jersey’s Child Passenger Law:
Children up to age 8 or 80 pounds must ride in a safety or booster seat in the rear seat of the vehicle. If there is no rear seat, the child must sit in the front seat secured by a child safety seat or booster seat.
Children under age 8 who weigh more than 80 pounds must wear a seat belt anywhere in the vehicle.
Passengers age 8 to 18 (regardless of weight ) must wear a seat belt anywhere inside a vehicle.
Of children ages 8 and under who died in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2011, 29% were unrestrained.
Child safety seats can reduce fatal injury by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers (ages 1 to 4).


Initiatives to Address Safety Belt Use:
View Full Report
The following report presents an in-depth look at one of the most significant safety issues impacting highway safety and the success of NHTSA’s mission – safety belt use. This document describes the safety problem represented by the failure to use safety belts and provides strategies the agency plans to pursue in increasing safety belt use, thereby saving lives. In addition to the full agenda of highway safety issues, impaired driving, rollover mitigation and vehicle compatibility are the other priority issues set by NHTSA to reduce the occurrence and consequences of motor vehicle fatalities and injuries. Each of the four documents can be found on NHTSA’s Web site and also on DOT’s docket management system (DMS). (The impaired driving report is currently in agency review and should be released and posted later this year.) The docket numbers for each of the respective reports are as follows:

Click It or Ticket
An annual nationwide campaign that incorporates zero-tolerance enforcement of safety belt laws with public awareness efforts and the support of government agencies, local coalitions and school officials to increase seat belt usage.

arrow Safety Belt Use NHTSA-2003-14620;
arrow Impaired Driving NHTSA-2003-14621;
arrow Rollover Mitigation NHTSA-2003-14622; and,



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