The Law: Wearing Your Seatbelt in Arizona

Studies have shown that wearing a seatbelt saves lives. It's become a habit for most people. But did you know, under Arizona law, there are certain exemptions to that requirement?

Seatbelt law is a secondary offense in Arizona
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The Arizona Seatbelt Law

According to AZLeg.org, when it comes to seatbelts,

Arizona is a secondary enforcement state, except for children subject to child restraint system requirements.

Persons who are unable to wear a seat belt for medical or psychological reasons and letter carriers for the U.S. Postal Service are exempt from seat belt requirements.

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When it Comes to Seatbelts, Arizona is a Secondary Enforcement State

Drive-safely.net explains that Arizona uses secondary enforcement when it comes to enforcing seatbelt laws.

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That means that while a police officer can't pull you over if they suspect drivers or passengers are driving without using a seatbelt, legally they can cite you for that if they pull you over for a different violation.

You can get a citation if you're not wearing your seatbelt in AZ
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There is one exception to that rule: this law doesn't apply to children, where restraining a child in a car seat is a primary enforced law. If you see an unrestrained child in a moving vehicle, Arizonans can call 1-800-505-BABY to report it. And yes, officers can pull drivers over for that reason alone.

Young Children must be restrained in moving vehicle in Arizona
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Arizona's Seatbelt Exemptions

Here are Arizona's exemptions to the seatbelt law:

  1. Persons who are unable to wear a seat belt due to medical or psychological reasons.
  2. Letter carriers for the U.S. Postal Service.
  3. Drivers who operate motor vehicles that were originally manufactured without safety belts.
  4. Drivers of recreational vehicles.
  5. Drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
  6. Drivers of authorized emergency vehicles or any other vehicle transporting a child in cases of emergency to obtain necessary medical care.
  7. Drivers or passengers of motorhomes that are model year 1971 or older.
Children must be restrained in moving vehicle in Arizona
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Obtaining a Medical or Psychological Exemption

Of course, if you're pulled over and the police officer discovers you're not wearing your seatbelt, he or she won't just take your word for it.

Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-909 states, "a person is exempt from the seatbelt law if they possess a written statement from a physician or a registered nurse practitioner indicating that they are unable to wear a lap and shoulder belt or a lap belt for medical or psychological reasons."

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This is not a guaranteed exemption from wearing a seatbelt in all situations, especially if you're traveling across state lines, since laws may be different from state to state.

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