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Safety Belts

Safety belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected from a motor vehicle during a crash.

Among drivers and front-seat passengers, safety belts reduce the risk of death by 45%, and cut the risk of serious injury by 50%. In Massachusetts in 2017, the safety belt usage rate was 73.8%.

Massachusetts Safety Belt Law

Massachusetts law requires every person in a passenger motor vehicle to wear a safety belt or sit in a child passenger restraint. Any driver who is stopped by a law enforcement officer for a traffic violation, and is not wearing a safety belt can be fined $25.

For more information, Chapter 3: Safety First of the Massachusetts Driver's Manual thoroughly details safety belt laws in the Commonwealth. 

Prevention/Best Practices

The best way to protect yourself in a crash is to always wear your safety belt. Safety belts save lives for both drivers and passengers.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends enhanced enforcement of existing seat belt laws. Enhanced enforcement programs seek to better support safety belt laws by either increasing the average number of citations each officer issues or by increasing the number of officers on patrol. These measures are supported by publicity campaigns, like the successful “Click It or Ticket” initiative. Research has shown that enhanced enforcement programs increase seat belt use by a median of 16 percentage points. 

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