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Texas |
Sec. 545.413. Safety Belts;

Sec. 545.413. SAFETY BELTS; OFFENSE.

(a) A person commits an offense if:

(1) the person:

(A) is at least 15 years of age;

(B) is riding in a passenger vehicle while the vehicle is being operated;

(C) is occupying a seat that is equipped with a safety belt; and

(D) is not secured by a safety belt; or

(2) as the operator of a school bus equipped with a safety belt for the operator's seat, the person is not secured by the safety belt.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) operates a passenger vehicle that is equipped with safety belts; and

(2) allows a child who is younger than 17 years of age and who is not required to be secured in a child passenger safety seat system under Section 545.412(a) to ride in the vehicle without requiring the child to be secured by a safety belt, provided the child is occupying a seat that is equipped with a safety belt.

545.412

(b-1) A person commits an offense if the person allows a child who is younger than 17 years of age and who is not required to be secured in a child passenger safety seat system under Section 545.412(a) to ride in a passenger van designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver, without securing the child individually by a safety belt, if the child is occupying a seat that is equipped with a safety belt.

545.412

(c) A passenger vehicle or a seat in a passenger vehicle is considered to be equipped with a safety belt if the vehicle is required under Section 547.601 to be equipped with safety belts.

547.601

(d) An offense under Subsection (a) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $50. An offense under Subsection (b) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $200.

(e) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1) the person possesses a written statement from a licensed physician stating that for a medical reason the person should not wear a safety belt;

(2) the person presents to the court, not later than the 10th day after the date of the offense, a statement from a licensed physician stating that for a medical reason the person should not wear a safety belt;

(3) the person is employed by the United States Postal Service and performing a duty for that agency that requires the operator to service postal boxes from a vehicle or that requires frequent entry into and exit from a vehicle;

(4) the person is engaged in the actual delivery of newspapers from a vehicle or is performing newspaper delivery duties that require frequent entry into and exit from a vehicle;

(5) the person is employed by a public or private utility company and is engaged in the reading of meters or performing a similar duty for that company requiring the operator to frequently enter into and exit from a vehicle;

(6) the person is operating a commercial vehicle registered as a farm vehicle under the provisions of Section 502.433 that does not have a gross weight, registered weight, or gross weight rating of 48,000 pounds or more; or

502.433

(7) the person is the operator of or a passenger in a vehicle used exclusively to transport solid waste and performing duties that require frequent entry into and exit from the vehicle.

(f) The department shall develop and implement an educational program to encourage the wearing of safety belts and to emphasize:

(1) the effectiveness of safety belts and other restraint devices in reducing the risk of harm to passengers in motor vehicles; and

(2) the requirements of this section and the penalty for noncompliance.

(g) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 8.01.

(h) In this section, "passenger vehicle," "safety belt," and "secured" have the meanings assigned by Section 545.412.

545.412

(i) A judge, acting under Article 45.0511, Code of Criminal Procedure, who elects to defer further proceedings and to place a defendant accused of a violation of Subsection (b) on probation under that article, in lieu of requiring the defendant to complete a driving safety course approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, shall require the defendant to attend and present proof that the defendant has successfully completed a specialized driving safety course approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation under Chapter 1001, Education Code, that includes four hours of instruction that encourages the use of child passenger safety seat systems and the wearing of seat belts and emphasizes:

45.0511

1001

(1) the effectiveness of child passenger safety seat systems and seat belts in reducing the harm to children being transported in motor vehicles; and

(2) the requirements of this section and the penalty for noncompliance.

(j) Notwithstanding Section 542.402(a), a municipality or county, at the end of the municipality's or county's fiscal year, shall send to the comptroller an amount equal to 50 percent of the fines collected by the municipality or the county for violations of Subsection (b) of this section. The comptroller shall deposit the amount received to the credit of the tertiary care fund for use by trauma centers.

542.402

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.115(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 316, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 515, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 618, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 910, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1042, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 204, Sec. 8.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 431, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 913 (H.B. 183), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

183

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 923 (H.B. 3190), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

3190

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 974 (H.B. 3638), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

3638

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1257 (H.B. 537), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

537

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 161 (S.B. 1093), Sec. 20.020, eff. September 1, 2013.

1093

Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1044 (H.B. 1786), Sec. 69, eff. September 1, 2015.

1786

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Local Government
Texas
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Greg Abbott
Greg Abbott
January 20, 2015 -
Republican
1-512-463-0063
112 East 11th Street, Austin, TX, 78701

Keywords
safety
vehicle
belt
passenger
seat
child
require
age
performing
exit