When it comes to the rules of the road, there are legally-binding laws and generally accepted behavior. Going well under the speed limit while cruising along a highway’s passing lane? That’s generally accepted as no good. Blowing through stop lights and signs? That’s a violation with legal implications. Pop quiz: Which of these two categories does not wearing a seat belt fall into? The answer: It depends.
In 15 of America’s 50 states, not wearing a seat belt isn’t enough to get you pulled over by a police officer. That’s because these states have adopted a “secondary enforcement” approach to seat belt laws. Thus, those motorists who happen to commit another moving violation at the same time that they weren’t wearing a seat belt can expect another fine on top.
In New Hampshire, there are absolutely no laws that make not wearing a seat belt illegal. States that have resisted changes to the law have generally argued doing so would “impinge on individual rights,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While there are provisions in all states that say children must be buckled up, Scott Monge of Monge & Associates legal firm says this “secondary enforcement” mindset must stop.
“It’s inconceivable that some states don’t mandate wearing a seat belt each and every time you set foot in a motor vehicle,” Monge, an attorney at law, said. “The ‘secondary enforcement’ of seat belts needs to stop; we don’t let an air bag decide when it feels like deploying.”
The tragedy here is that 2015 statistics from the CDC revealed that more than half of the 22,441 people who died in car accidents “were unrestrained at the time of the crash.” The fact that CDC stats show seat belt usage is lower in secondary enforcement states comes as no surprise to Scott Monge. Specifically, the 2016 ratio was 83 percent usage in secondary states compared to 92 percent in primary enforcement states. Scott Monge is so passionate about seat belt laws because he has met with and helped so many injured victims of car accidents. Lives are at risk, states are turning a blind eye to a very real problem and he wants his law firm to be a place where wrongs are righted. Even the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is taking another look at its lap and shoulder belt laws in school buses, according to a May 2018 ABC News article. Per the article, 42 states that had no such rules are being encouraged to add them and those with lap-only school bus belts add shoulder ones, as well.
For those who’ve been involved in an automobile accident and require the expert investigative skills of a law firm, Scott Monge and members of Monge & Associates have tirelessly pursued cases. If you’re worried about paying off mounting medical bills, auto repair costs and haven’t been able to work as a result of a crash that wasn’t your fault, it’s time to get a results-driven law firm on your side.