Did you know that everyone in a vehicle traveling in Alabama must wear a seat belt? The state’s seat belt law used to apply only to those in the front seat, and minors in the backseat. However, under a bill approved by the Alabama Legislature during its last session, the rule was expanded to cover anyone who is riding in the back seat as well.
While seat belt usage has grown in recent years, with the national rate at 90% in 2018, fewer people take the time to buckle up in the back of the vehicle. Law enforcement officials say that this is a mistake. According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, 60% of the people who died in traffic accidents in the state in 2017 weren’t wearing seat belts. Seatbelts alone are credited with saving over 15,000 lives last year.
The new law is a secondary violation, so a ticket can only be issued if the driver was pulled over for another reason.
The bill was named after Roderic Deshaun Scott, who died in an accident on I-65 between Montgomery and Birmingham in 2016. Roderic was a student and athlete player at Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery. Roderic was one of three students in the back of the car who were not wearing their seatbelts, and was ejected from the vehicle.
With the new law passed, it is now not only important to buckle up everywhere in the car, it’s the law. If you’ve been injured as a result of a car accident, or if you have any further questions regarding Alabama’s seat belt laws, come by our office anytime or call us at (251) 300-2000.