South Carolina's New Seat Belt Law

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

December 8, 2005
Right now, officers can only write a seatbelt violation ticket if you are pulled over for something else first. At midnight, they can pull you over for simply not buckling up. News 12 has more on what this law might do for everyone.

“I’m bad about not putting my seatbelt on,” one driver said.

So the state is giving drivers a little more motivation. Officers can now pull people over just for not wearing their seat belt.

“I’m going to try harder to remember,” a driver said.

But if a ticket doesn’t make drivers remember, maybe this mother will. Edie Graham’s 18-year-old son Garry died this March in a car accident. The Eureka firefighter wasn’t wearing his seatbelt. In her son’s memory, Edie is reminding others of the power of buckling up.

“I wear mine all the time and I make any passengers wear theirs and I’m a firm believer in the seatbelt law,” Graham said.

Each year, about 500 people are killed in car accidents in South Carolina. All of those deaths could have been prevented with a seatbelt. The hops it his law will get 11 percent more South Carolinians to buckle up. 11 percent saves 64 lives, 640 injuries and $140 million each year.

The Highway Patrol is not launching a major campaign to ticket people for breaking the law.

“But we do want to send the message to everybody at home that they need to buckle up and whatever strategy we need to take to get that message across, that’s what we’ll set out to do,” said Capt. Chris Williamson, SC Highway Patrol.

The message: That click will save you $25 and might just save your life.

Visit Buckle Up South Carolina to learn more.


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