Traffic stops for routine issues often lead to more serious charges. Officers typically end up finding other crimes through traffic stops.
Even if you have no concerns about officers finding you breaking other laws, a traffic stop is an annoyance. It takes time and can ruin your whole day, especially if you get a ticket. So, making sure you are 100% compliant with the law is essential. One area many people may make a mistake is when it comes to North Carolina’s seatbelt laws.
Seatbelts are mandatory for every passenger in a vehicle. The Child Passenger Safety Law covers children under the age of 16, which means unrestrained minors could equal more trouble for you during a traffic stop.
Note that if your vehicle is older than 1967, you may be exempt from the law for adults. This is because these vehicles did not come standard with them. There are also some exemptions for certain types of vehicles or people who are working while driving, such as postal carriers. But in general, everyone should assume they have a legal obligation to wear one.
In addition, everyone must wear seatbelts properly. An officer can ticket you for not wearing it if you have a shoulder strap behind you or you are not wearing all portions of the belt properly.
If an officer sees a front-seat passenger without s seatbelt, he or she can pull you over. YOu would receive the ticket for all passengers under 16 who are not properly restrained. Passengers over 16 would receive their own tickets.