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bassman

seat belt ticket

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i finialy got the 51 desoto were it can drive.when i got it i promised to my family to get icecream with the 51.the store is about a mile and a half away,and what do you now it the Rousco wana-be cop pulls us over and gives me a ticket for my daughter not being in a seatbelt and a child booster. shes 7 but north carolina law is 8 or 80 lbs.she was in the back seat.he wrote me up a (G.S.20-137.1). now i know that im exempt just want some ideas on how to handle this.thank you for your help and have a happy labor day.

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You may be exempt, but your daughter may not be. The child restraint laws vary, and I know the PA law made no mention of the age of the vehicle or an antique registration. I looked into it when I bought my 1960 Buick (no belts) and my son was 3 years old. I never allowed him in the car until I had the belts installed.

If the child restraint law makes no allowances for antique cars/registration you may still be liable. Those laws were largely written decades after every car had seat belts, and by people who had no relationship with any car that didn't. At best it's a gray area.

You'll need to find someone who's familiar with NC law and procedures. Check with the local AAA for starters.

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from what i gathered so far under the north carolina law nc child passenger safty law-G.S.20-137.1 the exemptions say vehicles not required to have belts(such as cars made before 1968 and pus suvs,and vans made before 1972,and large buses)

www.buckleupnc.org/laws_cps.cfm

and thats under that law but like u said it seems to me also that it is a gay area. he woundnt even let me get another vehicle they had to walk home in the rain. the law changed for booster seats after she was out of one, so shes been riding in the back seat of are regular vehicle and always with a belt.

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I am a Lieutenant with the Wilmington NC PD. I am familiar with NC law on this subject.

Officers are human and can make mistakes. In this case, the officer made a mistake. He is obviously not familiar with the full text of the law that he charged you with violating. The full text of the General Statute is pasted below.

See section b (iii) which indicates that this law does not apply "to vehicles which are not required by federal law or regulation to be equipped with seat belts."

§ 20‑137.1. Child restraint systems required.

(a) Every driver who is transporting one or more passengers of less than 16 years of age shall have all such passengers properly secured in a child passenger restraint system or seat belt which meets federal standards applicable at the time of its manufacture.

(a1) A child less than eight years of age and less than 80 pounds in weight shall be properly secured in a weight‑appropriate child passenger restraint system. In vehicles equipped with an active passenger‑side front air bag, if the vehicle has a rear seat, a child less than five years of age and less than 40 pounds in weight shall be properly secured in a rear seat, unless the child restraint system is designed for use with air bags. If no seating position equipped with a lap and shoulder belt to properly secure the weight‑appropriate child passenger restraint system is available, a child less than eight years of age and between 40 and 80 pounds may be restrained by a properly fitted lap belt only.

(B) The provisions of this section shall not apply: (i) to ambulances or other emergency vehicles; (ii) if all seating positions equipped with child passenger restraint systems or seat belts are occupied; or (iii) to vehicles which are not required by federal law or regulation to be equipped with seat belts.

© Any driver found responsible for a violation of this section may be punished by a penalty not to exceed twenty‑five dollars ($25.00), even when more than one child less than 16 years of age was not properly secured in a restraint system. No driver charged under this section for failure to have a child under eight years of age properly secured in a restraint system shall be convicted if he produces at the time of his trial proof satisfactory to the court that he has subsequently acquired an approved child passenger restraint system for a vehicle in which the child is normally transported.

(d) A violation of this section shall have all of the following consequences:

(1) Two drivers license points shall be assessed pursuant to G.S. 20‑16.

(2) No insurance points shall be assessed.

(3) The violation shall not constitute negligence per se or contributory negligence per se.

(4) The violation shall not be evidence of negligence or contributory negligence. (1981, c. 804, ss. 1, 4, 5; 1985, c. 218; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 748, s. 1; 1999‑183, ss. 6, 7; 2000‑117, s. 1; 2004‑191, ss. 1, 2; 2007‑6, s. 1.)

You can call the police department and ask to speak with the officer's supervisor and explain your problem to the supervisor. They should recognize the mistake and direct the officer to contact the district attorney's office and request a dismissal of the case. You can call the DA's office and complain to them and request a dismissal of the case, or you can go to court and plead not guilty, in which case I would bet my next paycheck that you will be found not guilty. If you need any further information on this or similar issues, you can send me a Private Message through this site, or call me at 910-470-3615 and I will be glad to discuss this issue with you.

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GREAT response Mr Hinson...excellent.

Everyone makes mistakes...hopefully this one will sort itself out. I'd care less about the fine...which seems very low...but the 2 points would be my concern.

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Matt, thanks for your response and common sense approach.

I'm guessing it was a young cop, and since this is a holiday weekend the "Click it or Ticket" program is in force. NCSHP has a big portable computerized sign on NC 57 at Hyco Lake announcing "Click It or Ticket- Have a Safe Labor Day", and I've seen plenty of signs on US 58 here in Vajenya too.

NC is a primary offense state, and you being in an old car attracted the punk cop's attention same as a red flag to a bull. Virginia is NOT a primary offense state- there has to be another reason to stop you, though I know some LE up here are awfully creative at inventing reasons to pull a driver over to get credit for a seat belt ticket. They do a lot of DUI and license checkpoints here, and I have learned to keep my belt buckled and wallet in my pocket until the cop has looked inside the car.

Seat belts have been a way of life for me since I was a kid, and my dad insisted that we all use them. I feel "undressed" if I don't have mine buckled.

But... (there's that but again) I agree with an exemption for cars not originally equipped with them, simply because older cars often don't have good anchoring points. At the least, I'd want a reinforced weld nut on the floor of the car. What good is a seat belt if its attachment bolt pulls thru the floorboards under stress? Worse than not having one at all, because you're lulled into a sense of security that isn't there.

Not having kids, I really can't relate to the child seat and seatbelt laws. I DO think the insurance lobby is too powerful in statehouses, since that's where mandatory seat belt laws came from.

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went to the cheif today and he never heard of this exemtion, he said it sounds like a gray area. he said that a ticket for no chids restaint is different but he said hell call the da's office and ask them.

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The chief needs to read the law. The law is very clear. Nothing gray about it. It is clear in Black and White. What department are we talking about?

It really irritates me when my fellow law enforcement officers who are supposed to enforce the law don't know it. If he fails to correct his officers, it might be time to complain to the City Council or City Manager if you have a Council-Manager form of government. Please keep me posted on how this turns out.

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I bought a vw bus to use to haul my band equipment. My grand son about three at the time went with me to bring it home. The gas line came off the carb.,and sprayed gas all over the engine. I stoped in the middle of nowhere and the back burst in flames. My grand son had pulled the seat belt tight across his legs and the buckle would not release. YOU CAN NOT pull the belts loose or brake the seat belt. As a last resort I pulled him from the belts but skined his legs from hip to ankle.The back of his seat was blistered and some idiot was yelling to get out its going to blow. No s--t charley what give you the first clue? I ran from the bus with my grand son and stop about 50 yds away to watch the explosion lift the bus about 4 ft. in the air. Seat belts use should be a personal chose. Not a law

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im in wilsons mills johnston county. the cheif from what i heard around town favors this officer. but i also heard from a local deputy sherrif that they had many complaints about him and said i should file a complaint.not that it has anything to do with it but i have darn drug dealers up the street but it doesnt seem theyre trying i have 3 children playing on this street all the time, its a dead end street.you see stange cars go down and then 5 minutes later leave. but any talking to other neighbors a lot of people dont favor him.and you being in law ,was it wright for him to make my wife and 2 girls walk home in the rain?

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as far as I can find NYS makes no exemption for antique vehecles that aren't requirwed to have seat belts.

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Bassman, He was wrong to stop you if the child in the car without a child restraint was the only reason that he stopped you. He was wrong to write you a ticket. You were not guilty of violating the law. He was wrong to tell you that you could not transport the child in the vehicle. He was certainly wrong to make your family walk because they could legally ride in the car. You need to contact the District Attorney and get your ticket dismissed. Then, you probably need to file a complaint with your Mayor or City Manager (if your town has one) since it is obvious that the Chief is unwilling or unable to protect his citizens from improper actions by his department's officers.

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ya i think why he stopped me was he thought it wasnt registered,but it has been for a year , everybody has been wacthing me work on the car because i have no garage.i had 2 cars in frount of me and 1 in back of me and i dought he seen my girls till he stopped me.i am going to complain, i dont need any points , im a cdl driver and i have a clean license. and its not that i dont beleive in seatbelts i wear them all the time,even my children, but if i put them in that old car i have to redesign alot ,just to make them work properly.

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Mr. Hinson:

I have to say that you are the first law enforcement official that I have ever read, saw, or otherwise heard from that stuck up for the citizen instead of his fellow law enforcement comrade. It does give me hope. I have seen and heard of things done by law enforement that would bend the barrel of your firearm. We had one officer cite a friend of mine up in Northern Al. for driving his antique car around the block citing him for regularly driving with an antique plate. The law governing the use of an Antique plate in Alabama allows for occasional driving, also to and from repair, and to and from events, but this guy did not want to hear about that. Where he messed up was in writing the ticket, he did not have a clue as to what the statute # was so he wrote down some statute # that he remembered from the last time he wrote a ticket and it had something to do with collecting sales tax, so the judge threw the case out. But you are right this man should contact the mayor AND the city council. IMHO police officers have a big enough problem with the REAL crimes that are being committed they don't need to make the job harder by trying to be the BMOC and harrassing people over stuff that they really do not know anything about. Take care Mr. Hinson and be safe.

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Alk, Like most of my fellow law enforcement officers, I simply stand up for the law and what is right. If the officer was right, I would support him, when he is wrong, as in this case, I support correcting the wrong that was done. It is that simple. Thanks for your support.

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In view of the exemption the officer had no authority to issue the ticket and needs guidance on this issue. A letter to the relevant authority who has power to prosecute the matter should take care of these issues. With respect to the officer who issued the ticket I would have some concern that he made the vehicle occupants walk home and I would like to hear his reasons for doing this. However, I do not think describing him in terms such *Rousco wana-be cop" and "punk cop" are warranted as it just might be that he believed that he was doing the right thing and was acting in the interests of the child's safety. Just because there is an exemption does not make it safe.

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If in fact this LEO forced this family to walk home IN RAIN, that goes beyond believing he was doing the right thing. It certainly goes beyond common sense. It gets into the realm of badge going to his head.

Cops fresh out of the academy are always the worst about common-sense issues, because they don't have the experience to make a judgment call and rely totally on procedures. If it ain't in black and white...

I repeat my conviction that seat belt laws were created at the behest of insurance companies, who are one of the most powerful lobbies in any statehouse. Common sense will tell you to wear them, but legislating their use simply opens doors for increased revenue collection. Common sense should also tell you that there ARE still vehicles around with no provision for seat belts. And the craziest of all- it's a point/fine offense for a kid to not be buckled or restrained in a private vehicle, but then there's no requirement for them to be buckled/restrained in a school bus??!! 'Scuse, that's a government-owned vehicle...

Unless the laws of VA have changed, law enforcement, firefighters and other emergency vehicle drivers are also not required to buckle up. I know several volunteer firefighters who take full advantage of that proviso whether they're responding to tone or not. They also know that firefighter plate will let them get away with things.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: rocketraider</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If in fact this LEO forced this family to walk home IN RAIN, that goes beyond believing he was doing the right thing. It certainly goes beyond common sense. It gets into the realm of badge going to his head.

Cops fresh out of the academy are always the worst about common-sense issues, because they don't have the experience to make a judgment call and rely totally on procedures. If it ain't in black and white...

I repeat my conviction that seat belt laws were created at the behest of insurance companies, who are one of the most powerful lobbies in any statehouse. Common sense will tell you to wear them, but legislating their use simply opens doors for increased revenue collection. Common sense should also tell you that there ARE still vehicles around with no provision for seat belts. And the craziest of all- it's a point/fine offense for a kid to not be buckled or restrained in a private vehicle, but then there's no requirement for them to be buckled/restrained in a school bus??!! 'Scuse, that's a government-owned vehicle...

Unless the laws of VA have changed, law enforcement, firefighters and other emergency vehicle drivers are also not required to buckle up. I know several volunteer firefighters who take full advantage of that proviso whether they're responding to tone or not. They also know that firefighter plate will let them get away with things. </div></div>

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+46.2-1094

There does NOT appear to be an exemption for ambulance drivers or firefighters.

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hey yall.went to da's office yesturday and they told me i have to dispute it in court. so i guess i have to hire a laywer.as far as the officer i was talking to the secratary at the da's office and she said they hear at least once a month a complaint about him.

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I would suggest that you do not deal with a secretary. You need to speak with either your elected District Attorney or else the Assistant District Attorney who is scheduled to prosecute in the courtroom that your ticket is set for on the day your case is set. The District Attorney should be able to read the law, if not familiar with it, and should immediately know that your car is exempt and should dismiss your case. You should not need to spend any money for an attorney because your car is exempt from the statute that you are charged with violating.

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ya, now that i talked to her how am i going to get an appointment? she will probaly just tell me the same thing. i don't know why something so easy is being so difficult. im not really good at the talking thing to defend myself,people half the time dont understand me. i just wana get this resolved but i can't get no help from no one. so it makes me think if i get a laywer he can go thru the wright channels,cause no one gives me the light of day.i just wana take my car out but now i am afraid of getting harassed and having to go tru this all over again.

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