§ 20-135.2A.  (See Editor's note) Seat belt use mandatory.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in G.S. 20-137.1, each occupant of a motor vehicle manufactured with seat belts shall have a seatbelt properly fastened about his or her body at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion on a street or highway in this State.

(b) Repealed by Session Laws 2006-140, s. 1, effective December 1, 2006.

(c) This section shall not apply to any of the following:

(1) A driver or occupant of a noncommercial motor vehicle with a medical or physical condition that prevents appropriate restraint by a safety belt or with a professionally certified mental phobia against the wearing of vehicle restraints.

(2) A motor vehicle operated by a rural letter carrier of the United States Postal Service while performing duties as a rural letter carrier and a motor vehicle operated by a newspaper delivery person while actually engaged in delivery of newspapers along the person's specified route.

(3) A driver or passenger frequently stopping and leaving the vehicle or delivering property from the vehicle if the speed of the vehicle between stops does not exceed 20 miles per hour.

(4) Any vehicle registered and licensed as a property-carrying vehicle in accordance with G.S. 20-88, while being used for agricultural purposes in intrastate commerce.

(5) A motor vehicle not required to be equipped with seat safety belts under federal law.

(6) Any occupant of a motor home, as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)k, other than the driver and front seat passengers.

(7) Any occupant, while in the custody of a law enforcement officer, being transported in the backseat of a law enforcement vehicle.

(8) A passenger of a residential garbage or recycling truck while the truck is operating during collection rounds.

(d) Evidence of failure to wear a seat belt shall not be admissible in any criminal or civil trial, action, or proceeding except in an action based on a violation of this section or as justification for the stop of a vehicle or detention of a vehicle operator and passengers.

(d1) Failure of a rear seat occupant of a vehicle to wear a seat belt shall not be justification for the stop of a vehicle.

(e) Any driver or front seat passenger who fails to wear a seat belt as required by this section shall have committed an infraction and shall pay a penalty of twenty-five dollars and fifty cents ($25.50) plus the following court costs:

(1) The General Court of Justice fee provided for in G.S. 7A-304(a)(4).

(2) The fee provided for in G.S. 7A-304(a)(2a).

(3) One dollar and fifty cents ($1.50) to be remitted to the county wherein the infraction was issued, except in those cases in which the infraction was issued by a law enforcement officer employed by a municipality, the fee shall be paid to the municipality employing the officer.

(4) One dollar and fifty cents ($1.50) for the supplemental pension benefits of sheriffs to be remitted to the Department of Justice and administered under the provisions of Article 12H of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes.

Any rear seat occupant of a vehicle who fails to wear a seat belt as required by this section shall have committed an infraction and shall pay a penalty of ten dollars ($10.00) and no court costs. Conviction of an infraction under this section has no other consequence.

(f) No drivers license points or insurance surcharge shall be assessed on account of violation of this section.

(g) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Public Instruction shall incorporate in driver education programs and driver licensing programs instructions designed to encourage compliance with this section as an important means of reducing the severity of injury to the users of restraint devices and on the requirements and penalties specified in this law.

(h) Repealed by Session Laws 1999-183, s. 3, effective October 1, 1999. (1985, c. 222, s. 1; 1987, c. 623; 1991, c. 448, s. 1; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 5, s. 1; 1997-16, s. 2; 1997-443, s. 32.20; 1999-183, ss. 1-3; 2002-126, s. 29A.3(a); 2005-276, s. 43.1(g); 2006-66, s. 21.11; 2006-140, s. 1; 2006-221, s. 21(a); 2007-289, s. 1; 2007-404, s. 2; 2009-376, s. 12; 2009-451, s. 15.20(j); 2017-102, s. 5.2(b); 2022-6, s. 8.3(a); 2022-47, s. 14.)