2006 Code of Virginia § 46.2-1094 - Occupants of front seats of motor vehicles required to use safety lap belts and shoulder harnesses...

46.2-1094. Occupants of front seats of motor vehicles required to usesafety lap belts and shoulder harnesses; penalty.

A. Each person at least sixteen years of age and occupying the front seat ofa motor vehicle equipped or required by the provisions of this title to beequipped with a safety belt system, consisting of lap belts, shoulderharnesses, combinations thereof or similar devices, shall wear theappropriate safety belt system at all times while the motor vehicle is inmotion on any public highway. A child under the age of sixteen years,however, shall be protected as required by the provisions of this chapter.

B. This section shall not apply to:

1. Any person for whom a licensed physician determines that the use of suchsafety belt system would be impractical by reason of such person's physicalcondition or other medical reason, provided the person so exempted carries onhis person or in the vehicle a signed written statement of the physicianidentifying the exempted person and stating the grounds for the exemption; or

2. Any law-enforcement officer transporting persons in custody or travelingin circumstances which render the wearing of such safety belt systemimpractical; or

3. Any person while driving a motor vehicle and performing the duties of arural mail carrier for the United States Postal Service; or

4. Any person driving a motor vehicle and performing the duties of a ruralnewspaper route carrier, newspaper bundle hauler or newspaper rack carrier; or

5. Drivers of taxicabs; or

6. Personnel of commercial or municipal vehicles while actually engaged inthe collection or delivery of goods or services, including but not limited tosolid waste, where such collection or delivery requires the personnel to exitand enter the cab of the vehicle with such frequency and regularity so as torender the use of safety belt systems impractical and the safety benefitsderived therefrom insignificant. Such personnel shall resume the use ofsafety belt systems when actual collection or delivery has ceased or when thevehicle is in transit to or from a point of final disposition or disposal,including but not limited to solid waste facilities, terminals, or otherlocation where the vehicle may be principally garaged; or

7. Any person driving a motor vehicle and performing the duties of a utilitymeter reader; or

8. Law-enforcement agency personnel driving motor vehicles to enforce lawsgoverning motor vehicle parking.

C. Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penaltyof twenty-five dollars to be paid into the state treasury and credited to theLiterary Fund. No assignment of demerit points shall be made under Article 19of Chapter 3 ( 46.2-489 et seq.) of this title and no court costs shall beassessed for violations of this section.

D. A violation of this section shall not constitute negligence, be consideredin mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence or bethe subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damagesarising out of the operation, ownership, or maintenance of a motor vehicle,nor shall anything in this section change any existing law, rule, orprocedure pertaining to any such civil action.

E. A violation of this section may be charged on the uniform traffic summonsform.

F. No citation for a violation of this section shall be issued unless theofficer issuing such citation has cause to stop or arrest the driver of suchmotor vehicle for the violation of some other provision of this Code or localordinance relating to the operation, ownership, or maintenance of a motorvehicle or any criminal statute.

G. The governing body of any city having a population of at least 66,000 butno more than 67,000 may adopt an ordinance not inconsistent with theprovisions of this section, requiring the use of safety belt systems. Thepenalty for violating any such ordinance shall not exceed a fine or civilpenalty of twenty-five dollars.

(1987, c. 538, 46.1-309.2; 1988, cc. 326, 344; 1989, c. 727; 1993, c. 591;1997, c. 793.)

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