Texas law on seat belt use

Texas Transportation Code Section 545.413 sets out the law in Texas regarding the use of safety belts in motor vehicles. It is an offense for a person over the age of 15 to ride in a motor vehicle in a seat that has a safety belt available, but the person does not use the safety belt. In this situation the passenger who is not buckled would receive the citation.

It is also an offense for a driver of a motor vehicle to allow a person under the age of 17 (who is not required to ride in a child safety seat) to ride in a seat that is equipped with a safety belt, but is not wearing the belt. In this situation the driver of the vehicle would receive a ticket.

There are a few limited defenses to this law, e.g. if you have a doctor’s note excusing you from wearing a seat belt, or you are a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.  Smith & Hassler encourages everyone driving in Houston (or anywhere else) to wear their safety belt.  In a car accident a safety belt can mean the difference between a car accident that results in minor injury that quickly heals, versus severe, life-changing injuries or even loss of life.