Do You Know? Seatbelts Are Still Not Required in New Hampshire for Adults
The "Live Free or Die" motto of New Hampshire is still in tact when it comes to seatbelts for those 18 years old or older.
Most Granite Staters know this, but with so many people moving from other states to New Hampshire, it's time to bring up the issue again.
According to doj.nh.gov,
Any child under the age of eighteen riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle be secured by either a seat belt or a child safety seat and that any child under the age of seven be secured by an approved child restraint (RSA 265:107-a). It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that all child-passengers are properly restrained.
So, if you are over 18, you are not required to use your seatbelt, however statistically you might want to.
New Hampshire has the lowest seatbelt use in the country, at 76%, compared with 90% as the national average, according to the advocate group citizenscount.org.
Countering this statistic is the fact New Hampshire ranks in the top 10 states safest for drivers, says safewise.com. In fact, all of the New England states except Maine ranked in the top 10 for driver safety.
There are pros and cons to both sides, and to "Live Free or Die" diehards, they don't want the government telling them what to do.
Legislators have re-introduced the debate this week, with talks of introducing a bill for a mandatory seatbelt law, but as a secondary offense. This means law enforcement cannot stop you for not wearing a seatbelt. They would need to stop you for some other reason.
To the point of many emergency room staff, ask them if seatbelts save lives. They see it every day. Seatbelts do save lives, and for now you can still enjoy the choice to buckle up or not if your are over 18.