Lenient seat belt laws in Massachusetts means people don’t wear them

Only 73% of Massachusetts residents wear their seat belt all of the time.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP)- Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you that seat belts save lives! However, lenient Massachusetts seat belt laws mean that only 73% percent of people wear them all of the time.

Massachusetts law requires every person in a motor vehicle, no matter if they are in the front or back seat, to buckle up. Any driver or passenger who is 16 years or older and isn’t wearing a safety belt can be fined $25. Pasengers aged 12,13,14,or 15 can also be fined $25. But you can only get fined if you are pulled over for another traffic violation.

Just because you don’t always get caught, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always wear one.

“You hop in and you take off and tend to forget about it”, says Chicopee resident, Luis Camacho. “I have it more locked in my head when I know I’m going on a longer commute or on the highway.”

That habit sits with many Americans. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 4 out of 5 Americans admit that they don’t always wear their seat belt on short rides.
It only takes a second every time you get into your car and the Center for Disease Control says it reduces your risk for a fatal or serious injury during a crash by about half.

“Anything can happen. You don’t know who’s driving on the street, who doesn’t know how to drive”, says Vianca Diaz, a new driver in Holyoke. “You could be the best driver out there, but you don’t know how everybody else is.”

Lieutenant Cournoyer of the Holyoke Police department says that the reason people don’t wear seat belts could be that drivers and passengers aren’t in the habit of putting it on.

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