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Question About Seat Belt Violation Ticket Indiana

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  • Question About Seat Belt Violation Ticket Indiana

    I was in a vehicle travelling with a friend and was pulled over for not wearing our seatbelts as per 9-19-10-2. I'm not disputing that fact, however I am concerned that this will negatively affect my driving record/insurance rates, as I was not the driver of the vehicle.

    The officer who wrote the tickets indicated that my friend was the driver on his ticket, and that I was the driver on mine, as it says "Did Unlawfully Operate" with the vehicle information

    Am I wrong in thinking that the officer improperly filled the ticket out? Was I legally "operating" the vehicle?

    I'm trying to see if it is worth contesting the ticket due to this information,

    IC 9-19-10-2
    Use of safety belt by motor vehicle occupants; safety belt standards
    Sec. 2. Each occupant of a motor vehicle equipped with a safety belt that:
    > meets the standards stated in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 208 (49 CFR 571.208); and
    > is standard equipment installed by the manufacturer;
    shall have a safety belt properly fastened about the occupant's body at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion.

  • #2
    Even though you weren't the driver of the vehicle, as an occupant, you also needed to have your seat belt buckled.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      My complaint isn't with being charged for not wearing the seatbelt; I admit my fault there and understand the charge. However I was not driving, yet this charges me as a driver, when I was not.

      Why am I or should I suffer an infraction on my driving record when I was not driving? Am I missing something here?


      • #4
        Originally posted by jobajobajoba View Post
        Why am I or should I suffer an infraction on my driving record when I was not driving? Am I missing something here?
        You violated a traffic law. Perhaps driving record is not the best term, but I don't think that anyone is going to change it to suit the few non-drivers who are cited.
        Militant Agnostic- I don't know and you don't know either.


        • #5
          I don't know Indiana law, but found this later on in the statute you cited:

          IC 9-19-10-8
          Failure of front seat occupant to use belt; violation; classification; assessment of points
          Sec. 8. (a) A person who:
          (1) is at least sixteen (16) years of age; and
          (2) violates section 2 of this chapter;
          commits a Class D infraction.
          (b) The bureau may not assess points under the point system for Class D infractions under this section.

          The law doesn't seem to differentiate between drivers and passengers, so I'm not sure how they're citing you as a driver.
          I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.


          • #6
            The ONLY reason Indiana passed this law is that the federal government threatened to cut off highway funds if they didn't.


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