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Missouri Seat Belt Ticket Laws

Posted by Carolyn

Of the more than 1000 traffic laws, Missouri seat belt ticket laws are the only secondary law. There are two types of safety belt laws, primary and secondary. A primary law allows a law enforcement officer to write a ticket if he or she simply observes an unbelted driver or passenger. Under a secondary law, an officer cannot ticket anyone for a safety belt violation unless the motorist is stopped for another infraction. It has been shown that states with primary laws have higher seat belt usage rates then those states that do not have primary laws. Studies have shown that to enact a primary law would save the state over 200 million in acute and long term Medicaid costs and would save 89 lives, and 1050 serious injuries.

Currently Missouri seat belt ticket law applies to drivers and passengers of the front seat of the vehicle and only carries a $10 fine. The driver and each front seat occupant age 16 and older may be cited separately. The driver of the vehicle is responsible for all vehicle occupants who are younger than 16 years of age. Violators may also be subject to additional court costs.

Missouri seat belt ticket laws regarding children in safety seats are primary. Children under age four to ride in a federally approved car seat or booster seat. Children over age four but under age 15 must be buckled in with a seat belt. The law applies no matter where a child is sitting in the vehicle. While it is not the law it is recommended that children always be placed in the rear of the vehicle. Those under 18 are also prohibited from riding in the unenclosed bed of a truck, though there are some exceptions for agricultural purposes, parades and other special events.

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