A Guide to the Montana Seatbelt Law
Seatbelts and child safety devices save lives. This has been proven in several studies by highway safety agencies. In an attempt to save more lives, all states except New Hampshire enforce their own seatbelt laws.
This guide will help you understand:
- What the Montana seatbelt law is
- How it is enforced
- What you can do if you get a seatbelt ticket
Montana has straightforward seatbelt and children car seat laws:
- Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts
- Drivers of commercial vehicles that are equipped with a safety belt must buckle up
- Children who are under the age of six and weigh less than 60 pounds must be restrained per the car seat manufacturer’s recommendations
Although it is not a requirement by the Montana child passenger safety law, children should ride in the back seat at least until their 12th birthday.
Certain people are exempt from this law:
- Vehicle occupants who have a medical condition that prohibits the use of a safety belt—They must have written statements from a licensed physician or registered nurse
- Drivers of vehicles that are licensed as special mobile equipment
- Persons who frequently stop on official job duties, like garbage collectors and rural postmen
- Passengers of motor vehicles in which all seatbelts are used by other passengers
- School bus passengers
- Children who can’t be restrained in child restraint systems due to their medical condition or body size
States normally enforce safety belts laws in two ways:
- Primary enforcement—This allows an officer to stop and ticket vehicle occupants for failure to use seatbelts without any other traffic offense. Currently, 34 states use this approach
- Secondary enforcement—An officer cannot stop a vehicle if the occupants are not wearing seatbelts unless there is another traffic violation
In Montana, the adult seatbelt law is a secondary enforcement law, while the child passenger safety law requires primary enforcement. So far, all attempts to create a primary enforcement adult seatbelt law in the state have failed.
The driver is always the responsible party when it comes to compliance with Montana seatbelt laws. Failure to use an appropriate child restraint device for children under six years of age and 60 pounds will result in a fine of up to $100. The fine can be waived for the first violation if the cited person provides evidence of acquiring an appropriate child restraint device within seven days of the violation. The proof should be sent to the office of the charging officer.
The violations of the seatbelt law by an adult driver or passenger results in a $20 fine. For commercial vehicles, drivers who don’t buckle up can get a $60 fine and two points on their driving record.
You should check your ticket deadline and comply or dispute it in time to avoid additional penalties.
If you pay the fine, you plead guilty and accept any other consequences. Want to keep your driving record clean? Then you should contest the ticket in one of the following ways:
- Reasonable doubt—With this approach, you will be arguing that you, in fact, had a seatbelt on or that you secured a child properly. You will need to provide a convincing reason why the enforcement officer made a mistake—for instance, the color of the seatbelt matched your outfit. This can only work if the officer did not pull you over to confirm
- Due diligence defense—Provide valid reasons why you should not be convicted for violating the seatbelt law, for instance:
- A medical or physical condition
- An emergency situation
- Faulty safety belts
Do you need help in building a strong argument? You can rely on DoNotPay. and give us a few details about the ticket. Our AI bots will draft a convincing appeal letter to get your seatbelt ticket dismissed.
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The process is as simple as ABC:
- Select the Seatbelt Ticket feature
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- Tell us more about the situation and the argument you want us to use by answering a few questions
That’s all! Our system will generate an appeal letter and mail it to the authorities quickly. You can just relax and wait for the results.
Are you commuting to or visiting another state? Check out our guides to state-specific seatbelt laws to avoid needless friction with the authorities and consequences such as court appearances:
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