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Florida Proposed Law to Make Seat Belt Violation a Primary Offense Does Not Pass

DUI (driving under the influence) arrests in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida often start when a police officer pulls a driver over for some traffic violation. However, the failure of a driver to wear his or her seat belt cannot be the reason for pulling a driver over. Of course, a police officer can give a driver a ticket for not wearing a seat belt after pulling the driver over for another reason such as speeding or another moving traffic violation, but a police officer is not allowed to pull a driver over just because that driver is not wearing a seat belt.

In the most recent Florida legislative session, a proposed law that would make the failure to wear a seat belt a primary offense (in other words, a traffic violation that would permit a police officer to pull a driver over on that basis alone) did not pass. Of course, injury accident statistics overwhelmingly support the conclusion that wearing a seat belt is a good idea, and failing to wear a seat belt can still subject a driver to a fine. However, as of now, it is not a legal basis for pulling a driver over.