2009 Wisconsin Act 28
(effective date: July 1, 2009)
Wisconsin has adopted a primary safety belt law, effective July 1, 2009. Law enforcement can now stop and ticket vehicles in which the driver or a passenger is noticed without a seat belt regardless if the officer observes another traffic or vehicle equipment violation. Previously, officers would have had to stop motorists for another vehicle or traffic violation and then could issue a seat belt citation.
Currently, Wisconsin's seat belt use rate is approximately 74 percent, which is one of the lowest in the nation. Studies conducted by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that when states changed to primary enforcement, the safety belt use rate increased approximately 10 percent.
A change to primary enforcement does not increase the cost of a safety belt citation in Wisconsin, which is $10 and does not include a point assessment on a driver's license. By enacting a primary enforcement seat belt law, Wisconsin is now eligible to receive $15.2 million in federal funding.
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