If you happened to notice a bunch of new television commercials reminding you to always buckle-up when you drive in Ohio or else face the consequences, it’s because from May 24 through June 6th the Ohio Department of Public Safety was in full ticket mode for seatbelt violators.
The tv commercials show non-seat belt wearers covered in pink tickets — which is probably gentler than showing what happens in car wrecks to people that aren’t buckled-up — but it’s certainly still effective. In case you’re thinking that it’s just a PR tactic that won’t be backed-up, think again.
I’ve seen a copy of the memo from the Kent Police Chief to the troops advising them of his expectations that they fully participate in the statewide enforcement initiative to increase compliance in the state’s safety belt law which according to the Ohio insurance industry runs around 65%. I looked up the Kent Police statistics and it turns out that they issue an average of 300 traffic citations a month or about 10 a day — don’t let yourself be one of them for a seatbelt violation.
If you’re not sure what the Ohio seat belt law says, let me help:
Ohio’s safety belt law was enacted in March, 1986 and revised in November, 1992. The law requires front-seat passengers of cars, vans, pickup and delivery trucks, taxicabs, commercial trucks and tractor-trailers, and buses with safety belts installed to wear them when these vehicles are driven on public roadways.
Drivers who violate the law are fined $25, while front-seat passengers are fined $15. Funds generated from the fines are partially directed to Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) programs that increase public awareness to help Ohio reach a 70% safety belt usage rate.
Exempt from compliance are children already covered by the child safety seat law; persons with medically-certified physical impairments; persons operating vehicles to deliver the mail or newspapers for home delivery; and persons in vehicles manufactured prior to 1966.
Currently, law enforcement officials are prohibited from stopping a vehicle solely to enforce Ohio’s safety belt law. Citations can only be issued as a secondary action to another suspected offense. A violation of this law does not result in the assessment of points to an individual’s driving record.
Evidence regarding the proper use of safety belts is admissible against certain parties in a claim for damages for the injury or death of the occupant of the vehicle.
The new Child Restraint law in Ohio went into effect on April 7th, 2010.
The new Child Restraint law (ORC 4511.81) in Ohio went into effect on April 7, 2010. Children less than 8 years of age, unless they have reached 4’9″ in height, are required to be in a booster seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards. Children who are 8 – 15 years of age, or children who are younger who have reached the height requirement must be secured with a seat belt.
The official click-it or ticket campaign may be done but don’t take a chance, please use your seatbelt.