What’s the law about wearing seat belts in Florida?

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2023 | Traffic Violations

You know that for safety reasons, it is necessary to wear a seat belt when driving. Originally, seat belts were added as “extra” safety measures in vehicles; however, eventually, it was mandated by law that you “buckle” up after it was discovered that wearing them reduced traffic accident fatalities.

Some assume that this means they may just receive a ticket if they do not wear their seat belt and are pulled over for another traffic infraction. However, you may not realize that you can be pulled over for not wearing your seat belt, and the penalties can be significant.

Not wearing a seatbelt is a primary offense in Florida

Florida law was updated in 2009, making driving or riding in a vehicle without a seat belt a primary offense. In the past, it was a secondary offense. When this was the case, police officers could not pull you over for it but could pull you over for another infraction and give you a ticket if you were not wearing your seat belt.

Since the law changed, the police can pull you over, even if you are doing everything correctly, but they see you are not wearing a seat belt. This is considered a valid reason to be pulled over in Florida. This is different in other states, so it is important to know what the law says when visiting the Sunshine State as a tourist.

Next steps

Getting a ticket for not wearing your seat belt can be frustrating. The fines associated with this can be significant. The good news is that there are options to fight the charges in some situations. Get to know these legal options to ensure you take the right steps after you receive a citation.