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94.5 percent

June 4, 2012

New Jersey is a national leader when it comes to seatbelt compliance, with 94.51 percent front-seat passengers wearing them, according to a 2011 Fairleigh Dickinson University study.

That’s up from 81.2 percent in 2003. Back-seat compliance, however, is quite low at 61 percent, and according to the study, the number of adults who put their belts on in the back seat is only 35 percent.

Legislation passed in 2010 made it a secondary offense for adults over the age of 18 to ride unbuckled in the back seat of a motor vehicle. The law allows police to issue a summons and fine of $46 to unrestrained adults in the back seat when the car they are riding in is pulled over for another violation. The state’s primary seat belt law requires all motorists and passengers in the front seat, including passengers under the age of 18, to wear a seat belt or be securely buckled in a car seat, or face a $46 fine. This ticket is issued to the driver.

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