The Ins and Outs of Massachusetts Seatbelt Laws
Although many drivers find the seatbelt laws annoying, they exist for a reason—to protect the drivers’ and passengers’ lives. In this article, you’ll find all the relevant information about the Massachusetts seatbelt laws, including whether:
- Not wearing a seatbelt is a moving violation
- A seatbelt ticket can affect insurance
- Child seatbelt laws are different from the regular ones
If you already got a seatbelt ticket, DoNotPay will explain how you can get it dismissed.
Not wearing a seatbelt in Massachusetts is a secondary violation—it is not enough for a police officer to pull you over. If the officer notices you aren't wearing one, they must stop you for a different violation, such as speeding, and then issue the seatbelt ticket.
Under the MA seatbelt laws, you mustn’t drive a motor vehicle if you aren’t wearing a safety belt that’s properly adjusted and fastened. All passengers must also buckle up unless they’re children—they must be restrained in proper child car seats.
When it comes to children seatbelt laws in MA, the following rules apply:
|One to three||All children between one and three should be put in a rear-facing child seat until they outgrow it|
|Four to seven||Once your child has outgrown a rear-facing car seat, they can be put in a front-facing car seat with a harness until they reach a height and weight limit set by the manufacturer. When your child outgrows this seat, they need to be properly restrained in a booster seat|
|Eight and older||Children older than eight or taller than 57 inches have to wear seatbelts|
The Massachusetts seatbelt law doesn’t specify how old your child has to be to ride in the front seat. It is recommended that a child who is 13 or older rides in the front.
Under the Massachusetts seatbelt laws, the following people are exempt from wearing a seatbelt:
- Children under 12 who, for any reason, need to be positioned in car seats
- Drivers and passengers who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a seatbelt (they must have a doctor’s note confirming the condition)
- USPS carriers who are performing their duties and must make stops frequently
- Drivers and passengers of cars made before July 1966
- Passengers of emergency vehicles with proper authorization
- Drivers who operate trucks, tractors, and similar vehicles that weigh more than 17,999 pounds
A police officer will issue a fine of $25 to anyone who doesn’t wear a seatbelt in Massachusetts. In case a passenger between 12 and 16 fails to put a seatbelt on, the driver will be issued a ticket for them as well. They will be charged an additional $25 for each infraction.
Some states consider not wearing a seatbelt a moving violation—once you’re charged with it, you get points on your record. Fortunately, Massachusetts isn’t one of them, which means that you won’t get any demerit points, and your insurance rates won’t be affected.
This doesn’t mean that you should ignore your ticket because the consequence of not paying it is losing the right to operate a vehicle.
If you were caught without a seatbelt in Massachusetts, there are two ways you can contest your citation in court. Check out the table below for details:
|Reasonable doubt||If you decide to appeal your citation based on reasonable doubt, it means that you’ll need to prove that you actually were wearing your seatbelt and the police officer who stopped you is wrong|
|Due diligence defense||Taking due diligence defense means that you didn’t wear a seatbelt but had a valid reason for it. Some of the reasons you can cite are:
You can hire a lawyer to help you deal with your seatbelt citation, but doing it might burn a hole in your pocket. In some cases, a lawyer might cost you even more than the ticket. If you want a more affordable option, use DoNotPay!
DoNotPay can help you create a convincing appeal letter that should get you off the hook. All you’ll need to do is answer a few questions so we can personalize your appeal letter. After we create it, we’ll send your letter to the relevant seatbelt ticket authorities.
Follow the steps below to create your letter now:
- Sign up for DoNotPay and locate the Seatbelt Ticket feature
- Snap a photo of your seatbelt citation
- Answer a couple of questions about the situation
- Tell us which argument you’d like to use
If you need more information regarding seatbelt laws, DoNotPay can help. We have a comprehensive database that answers any question you might have about seatbelt laws like:
- What should you do to keep a child from unbuckling a seatbelt?
- How many demerit points can you get for not wearing a seatbelt?
- What are the RV seatbelt laws?
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