Seat Belt Safety

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Over half of people who die in traffic crashes in the nation are not wearing seat belts. Police officers in the District of Columbia think even one death resulting from not wearing a seat belt is one too many.

That’s why the District has one of the strongest and most comprehensive seat belt laws in the country. Seat belts are your best defense against unsafe drivers – buckling up is the single most important step you can take to save your life or the life of a loved one in a crash.

The District Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Police Department are working with Mayor Bowser on the Vision Zero Initiative, which aims to reduce serious transportation-related injuries and fatalities by 2024 through a comprehensive approach to transportation safety ranging from road design to perceptions and behavior.

Some national seat belt statistics are below

  • Lap and shoulder seat belts – when worn – lower the risk of death to passengers in the front seat by 45 percent.
  • Data shows that, among passengers aged 18 to 34 who have been killed in crashes, 63 percent were not buckled up.
  • 61% of passengers killed at night were unbuckled. Buckle up even when it’s dark.

The district of colombia enacted its seat belt law in 1997. Since then, injuries have been prevented and lives saved

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  • The District of Columbia’s law allows police to stop a vehicle solely because its driver and/or passengers are not properly buckled up.
  • It’s a $50 fine and 2 points for not having your seat belt buckled at all times – for drivers and all passengers, front and back seats.
  • Drivers are responsible for seat belt compliance for all passengers.
  • All children under 8 must be properly seated in an infant, toddler or booster seat. Eight- to 16-year-olds must be secured with a safety belt.
  • Children aged two to five years old who use safety belts instead of safety seats or booster seats are four times more likely to suffer a head injury in a crash.
  • Drivers who fail to properly secure their child face a $75 fine and 2 points for a first offense, and up to $150 fine for subsequent offenses.
  • DC participates in the national Click or Ticket seat belt usage awareness campaign. Click It or Ticket combines high visibility enforcement and paid advertising to create awareness of enforcement and educate the public about the dangers and consequences of not wearing a seat belt.

Wear your seat belt in DC. Day and night. Every trip. Every time.