Massachusetts fails in seat belt laws

State earns low score for seat belt law

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts ranked high for its safety laws covering distracted driving, but highway and auto safety advocates gave us a low score because we don’t have a primary enforcement seat belt law.

Massachusetts got low grades in the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety annual report card. While the state did receive high scores for safety laws concerning texting restrictions, teen driving and child  booster seats, we scored low for not enforcing seat belt laws.

Massachusetts does not have a primary seat belt enforcement law…meaning officers can’t pull you over just because you’re not buckled up.

However, some people told 22News that seatbelts should be mandatory because they save lives. Kevin Barrett told 22News, “I think everybody should do it immediately without even thought…. to save my life… stay alive. In the past I was in wrecks and if I would have had my seatbelt on I wouldn’t have got hurt as badly as I did.”

Driver Dottie Webb told 22News that she’s been wearing her seatbelt religiously for 30 years since a serious car crash. But she believes wearing a seat belt should be the choice of the driver and that the law is strict enough. “I think that’s kind of infringing on your rights. i think it’s click it or tick it.
i don’t think it should be any harsher than it already is.”

Officers can write a ticket and fine you for not wearing a seatbelt if you are pulled over for another traffic offense, such as speeding. Massachusetts also scored poorly for not mandating ignition interlock, which would prevent convicted drunk drivers from operating a vehicle intoxicated.