As if anyone needed another reason to wear a seatbelt, here’s one for you. The New Jersey Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling on Sept. 18, 2014, held that a driver who fails to use a seat belt or fails to require a passenger to use one may be convicted of a criminal offense if there is a car crash resulting in serious injury or death. The Court held that the Seat Belt Law is “a law intended to protect the public health and safety” and therefore a violation of it is a predicate offense that can support a criminal conviction.
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This would be considered a third degree crime, which is quite a step up from a mere summons or ticket for failing to wear a seatbelt.
For the lawyers reading this who are interested. The case can be found at: