Many motorists put on their seatbelts without much thought as soon as they get into their vehicles, while others may take more of a lackadaisical approach to this safety device. It's clear that wearing a seatbelt will dramatically decrease your risk of being injured or killed in an accident, but some people still fail to take this device as seriously as they should. When police officers are on patrol, they're not only watching for motorists who are speeding or driving dangerously — they're also looking for many types of seatbelt offenses that could lead to tickets. Here are three offenses that you can fight with a traffic ticket attorney, but that are also easy to avoid.
1. Failing To Wear A Seatbelt
Police officers frequently stop motorists for failing to wear their seatbelts and hand out tickets. Whether you're someone who actively tries to avoid wearing his or her seatbelt or you perhaps take a few minutes to put it on after you get in the car and start to drive, these are habits that can catch up with you quickly. Although you can offer a number of defenses for this offense, such as you just took the belt off for a moment, the reality is that if an officer sees you not wearing your seatbelt, you're apt to get a ticket.
2. Improperly Wearing A Seatbelt
Seatbelts are designed to be worn over the shoulder and across your chest to provide a significant amount of restraint in the event of a collision. However, lots of people choose to wear the belt under their arm instead. In this position, the seatbelt loses its effectiveness. It will still restrain your body, but not the same degree as when it's over your shoulder. Additionally, your body may twist during an impact, leading to an injury. If a police officer observes you wearing your belt in this manner, you may get a ticket.
3. More Passengers Than Belts
Sometimes, motorists will cram multiple passengers into their vehicles for short trips. For example, you might sometimes put four children in the backseat. There may technically be room for them, but there are likely only three seatbelts — and this means that one child is traveling without a belt for safety. Police officers can hand out tickets when there are more passengers than belts in a vehicle. Keep in mind that this rule covers belts that aren't functional. If your car has a broken seatbelt, you must consider your number of passengers accordingly.
For more information and assistance, contact a traffic ticket defense lawyer.