Tragically, some traffic accidents are unavoidable. However, wearing your seat belt will help prevent needless injuries in many important ways. For instance, safety devices help prevent ejection in a crash, allow the body to slow down gradually and also help to protect the head and spinal cord.
With terrorism and other global events weighing on all of our minds, it's easy to become distracted while on the road. So please remember: South Carolina law makes failure to wear a seat belt a secondary offense. That means any driver who's pulled over for another violation and is found to not be buckled up can be issued a seat belt citation. More importantly, motorists and their passengers who don't use their seat belts are needlessly risking injury and death.
SC Seat Belt Law
South Carolina’s seat belt law requires that every driver and every occupant of a motor vehicle, when it is being operated on the public streets and highways of this State, must wear a fastened seat belt that complies with all provisions of federal law for its use. The driver is charged with the responsibility of requiring every occupant 17 years of age or younger to wear a seat belt or be secured in a child restraint system as required by law. However, a driver is not responsible for an occupant 17 years of age or younger who has a driver’s license, special restricted license, or beginner’s permit and who is not wearing a seat belt.
This law does not apply to:
A driver or occupant who possesses a written verification from a physician that he is unable to wear a seat belt for physical or medical reasons;
Medical or rescue personnel attending to injured or sick individuals in an emergency vehicle when operating in an emergency situation as well as the injured or sick individuals;
School, church, or day care buses;
Public transportation vehicles except taxis;
Occupants of vehicles in parades;
United States mail carriers;
An occupant for which no seat belt is available because all belts are being used by other occupants;
A driver or occupant frequently stopping or leaving a motor vehicle for pick up or delivery purposes;
Occupants of the back seat of a motor vehicle unless the vehicle is equipped with a shoulder harness in addition to the lap belt;
Children under six years of age who must be properly restrained as provided by SC’s child restraint law.
A driver or occupants in a vehicle not originally equipped with safety belts.
South Carolina’s seat belt law is secondary for persons 18 and older. This means that a law enforcement officer may not stop a vehicle for a violation of the seat belt law in the absence of another traffic violation. However, the law becomes primary for persons 17 and younger. An officer may stop a vehicle and issue a citation when he observes an occupant 17 or younger who is not wearing a seat belt or secured in a child safety seat.
SC Child Passenger Restraint Law:
South Carolina’s child passenger restraint law requires that:
Children from birth to 1 year old, or who weigh less than 20 pounds, must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.
Children 1 through 5 years old weighing 20 to 40 pounds must be restrained in a forward-facing child seat.
Children 1 through 5 years old weighing 40 to 80 pounds must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat.
Children under the age of 6 are not required to be in booster seats if they weigh more than 80 pounds or if they can sit with their backs against the car's seat and bend their legs over the seat edge without slouching.
Children under 6 may not sit in the front passenger seat. However, this restriction does not apply if the vehicle has no rear passenger seats or if all other rear passenger seats are occupied by children less than 6 years old.
This law does not apply to taxis, church, school and day care buses, or commercial vehicles.
The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office is committed to the safety of our citizens and the motoring public. Buckling up isn't a choice. It's the law, and it saves lives!