You Ask, Patch Answers: Seatbelt Enforcement
Patch readers inquired about seat belt enforcement. Here's the lowdown.
When the Marlborough Police Department announced they'd take part in the statewide Click it Or Ticket Campaign earlier this month, some Patch readers wondered whether police are able to stop drivers for not wearing their seat belts.
The answer is no, but with an important caveat, said Marlborough Police Det. Scott DeCiero.
Massachusetts' seat belt law is subject to secondary enforcement only, meaning officers can only write tickets to drivers or adult passengers if they've already been stopped for another offense.
"However, if we see a child under the age of 12 without a seatbelt or a child seat, we can stop that vehicle," DeCeiero said.
If a vehicle is stopped, an officer can issue a ticket--which comes with a $25 fine--to the driver and all adult passengers not buckled up. Drivers can also be fined for unbuckled passengers under the age of 16.
During the “Click It or Ticket” mobilization, which runs from Monday, May 14 through June 3, thousands of extra state and local police will patrol the state’s streets and highways in a concerted effort to promote and enforce seat belt use with the ultimate goal of saving lives.