Q. Seat Belt Use Laws
Seat belt use laws are passed by the states, rather than the US DOT. For a comparison of seat belt laws by state, see the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) web site at: http://www.iihs.org/laws/SafetyBeltUse.aspx
Additional information on safety belt use is available from IIHS at http://www.iihs.org/research/topics/belt_use.html
A primary seat belt use law permits law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle and issue a citation for a seat belt violation, even if this is the only violation the officer notices. Secondary laws allow the officer to issue a seat belt citation to a motorist only after the officer stops the driver for another violation.
Statistics on accidents and occupant protection can be found on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) web site at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/CATS/listpublications.aspx?Id=23&ShowBy=Category
For studies and information from NHTSA's Occupant Protection Program, see: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Occupant+Protection
For the National Safety Council's seat belt safety resources, see http://www.nsc.org/SAFETY_ROAD/DRIVERSAFETY/Pages/SeatBelts.aspx
For additional information, contact NHTSA directly.
You will find NHTSA Regional Office contact information on: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/nhtsa/whatis/regions
You may e-mail NHTSA Headquarters using the e-form on: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/email.cfm
The toll-free NHTSA hotline may be reached at 1-888-327-4236
In the Washington, D.C. metro area and for foreign callers, the number is 202-366-0123
The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 10 PM Eastern. Hotline automated system functions are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Your state DOT also might be of assistance. For a list of links to state DOTs, please see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/webstate.htm