6 Lawful Exemptions to Wearing Your Seatbelt in Alabama
I remember taking driver's education in high school and the first thing my teacher said when we got into the car was for us to put our seatbelts on. My teacher also had a brake on her side of the car, so if she thought we were about to have an accident, she could step on her brake to stop the car.
One time while we were doing a road exercise, I thought I would be funny and unbuckle my seatbelt when I thought she wasn’t looking. I learned it was a mistake when my teacher slammed on the brake to stop the car instantly.
At that moment, I knew my joke wasn’t funny, and after a fifteen-minute lecture from my teacher, I was certain. Ever since then, I always wear my seatbelt no matter where or how far I am going. It’s the law in Alabama to wear your seatbelt while driving or riding in a car.
What happens If I don’t wear my seatbelt and I get pulled over?
Seatbelts can be annoying and sometimes even uncomfortable, but they can and do save lives. In Alabama, if you are caught by a law official not wearing your seatbelt, you can and most likely will get a ticket.
However, it's not a primary offense. That means the police has to have some other reason to stop you before assessing a seatbelt fine (i.e. speeding, running a stop sign or erratic driving)
Are there any exceptions to wearing a seatbelt in Alabama?
Yes, there are only six legal exceptions to the seatbelt law requiring both drivers and passengers to wear them according to AL Code § 32-5B-4 (2020).
- A child that is in a child restraint system (kids car seat).
- Someone who has written authorization from their doctor as to why it's not physically possible for them to wear the seatbelt.
- Rural Mail carrier while delivering the mail.
- The newspaper delivery person while delivering papers along their route.
- People who have a car that was made before 1965 are not required to wear seatbelts.
- When driving farming equipment, such as large tractors that operate in reverse.
You can find out more about seatbelt laws in Alabama by clicking here.
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