Back seat passengers can be cited for not wearing seat belt

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala - Starting September 1, all passengers inside a car, including those in the back seat, are required to wear a seat belt.

Normally, when a car gets pulled over the driver is the one who gets the ticket, but if you get in the backseat and happen to be a licensed adult, it won't be the driver who is cited.

"Let me say this too, if you're in the back seat and you're an adult, that citation could be written to you, not the driver. If you're a licensed driver, it could actually be written to you, not the driver," Trooper Curtis Summerville said.

The law is a secondary offense. That means a driver won't be pulled over for passengers not wearing their seat belts, but if they are pulled over for another reason members of law enforcement can issue a seatbelt citation.

"Just this past July 4th we had 10 people killed in the state and 7 of them were not wearing their seat belts," Summerville said.

Troopers say the new law is designed to keep people safe and ultimately save lives.

According to statistics from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency most recent data, the number of crashes increased 26.61% from 2008 to 2017 and 60%  of people who died in crashes in 2017 were not wearing seatbelts.

"We as state troopers we want to change behavior you know," Summerville said.

So, they hope the new law makes people strap in.

"I always tell folks that if we can get out and not write a single ticket then we've done our job because we've changed your behavior there wasn't a need," he said.

The cost of the ticket for not wearing a seat belt will vary by county.

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