Buckle up for safety: Understanding Georgia's seat belt law

Buckle up for safety: Understanding Georgia's seat belt law

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ATLANTA -

Seat belts can keep you and your kids safe if you're involved in a crash, and Georgia is one of 33 states where you can be pulled over for not having it on.  For some, it's second nature to buckle up.  But far too often, we hear of wrecks where a seat belt could have saved someone's life.

Harris Blackwood of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety says authorities are finding that of the crashes that happen after 6 p.m., half of the people involved are not buckled up.  So, patrols are increasing at night, and they're focused on men between the ages of 18 and 34.

It's also critically important to make sure the little ones are buckling up.  Last month, a 7-year-old boy was killed and three other kids were ejected from a vehicle that rolled over on Interstate 20 in Douglas County.  Officers believe the kids weren't in safety seats.

In Georgia, kids 8 and under must be in the proper child passenger safety seat.  There are concerns at the state level that parents are rewarding kids by taking them out of their safety seats.  

For adults, only the front passenger must be buckled up, which is surprising to some.  The state says overall, Georgia has good numbers when it comes to seat belt usage. Some say the fine for being caught without one is a joke though.  It's only $15.  It's $50 if you're caught with a child out of their safety seat.

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