South Carolina Seatbelt Law

By: Meredith Taylor
By: Meredith Taylor

It’s a rainy day. If you have to be on the road, then be safe. News 12 is on your side checking on the progress of a new law in South Carolina that many say will save lives in any weather.

For some, wet roads spell accidents. This former coroner and shift manager for Aiken Co. EMS knows.

“I’ve seen a lot of people thrown from cars, killed from the fact of being thrown,” said Capt. Greg Bailey.

Lives taken because they weren’t strapped in. A new law in South Carolina aims to change that.

“The law has now changed to where if you observe a driver or occupant of a vehicle not wearing a seatbelt, you can stop the car and you can be cited for not wearing a seatbelt,” said Lt. Teddy Umsted, Aiken Public Safety.

News 12 road along with Lt. Umsted to get a better view of who is obeying.

“I’m looking at this older pickup truck, I can tell both the passenger and driver are wearing their seatbelts,” Umsted said.

Some are.

“Okay, this car in front is not wearing their seatbelt,” Umsted said.

Some aren’t.

Since the new law went into effect on December 9th, Aiken Public Safety officers say they have seen an increase in the number of tickets they’re writing. If you do get pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt, some officers choose to warn you and tell you about the law. Others will ticket you on the spot.

“You know, we’re not out to just write tickets, this is a safety issue. Hopefully, it’ll save lives and keep people from being injured,” Umsted said.

Captain Bailey wants the law to slam the door on careless thinking and convince everybody to buckle up. For a man who’s in a rush every day to save lives, he always takes time out for click to make sure he’s not the next victim.

“I’ve had to send too many people to the funeral home for not wearing seatbelts,” Bailey said.

Click It or Ticket, now much more than a slogan.

A ticket is $25. If you have an older vehicle that wasn’t made with a seatbelt, you are exempt. Lt. Umsted says Aiken drivers are doing a good job of buckling up. He estimates about 85% do.


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