How Seatbelt Laws Are Enforced in Virginia

You packed up your kids and their friends in the van and headed towards the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. As you made your way down 460, you saw a patrol car in your rearview with its lights on.

You pull over and the officer said you were speeding. Upon looking into your vehicle, however, he also noticed that you and some of the kids weren’t wearing seatbelts. Now you’re concerned you’ll receive a citation.

When You Can Receive Penalties for Not Buckling Up

Wearing your seatbelt can save your life, and to encourage motorists to buckle up, the national Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign is scheduled to run from May 18 to 31. As police focus on enforcement during this two-week period, here’s what you need to know about being ticketed for not wearing your safety belt:

  • The seat belt law is a “secondary” offense. This means that an officer can’t pull you over just because you or someone in your vehicle isn’t wearing a seat belt; you have to break the law in another manner, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or running a red light, in order to have an officer stop you. Once you are already pulled over, however, you can receive a citation for not wearing your belt if the officer notices.
  • Passengers over age 18 can receive their own citations. If a passenger over the age of 18 is riding in the front seat and is unbuckled, he can also receive a ticket for not buckling up. If those in the car with you are under 18 and not wearing their belts, you will receive citations for their failure to wear their belts.

If You Have Questions, We Can Help

If you believe you wrongly received a ticket or need help defending yourself against one, the attorneys of Tavss Fletcher want to help. Contact us today to learn how we have helped many motorists in the Virginia Beach area with their situations, and how we may be able to do the same for you.