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Semirog Law Firm, pllc is a personal injury and auto accidents law firm located in Charlotte and Matthews, North Carolina.   We are committed to providing quality legal services in a dedicated and cost-effective manner to all members of our community, regardless of race, gender, or national origin.

We have handled complicated litigation in the areas of personal injury, car wrecks, truck accidents, family and business law.  In addition, we have experience in real estate law and short-sale negotiations.

We offer standard and flexible billing arrangements for our clients, such as flat fee billing, hourly billing, and contingency fee billing depending on the type of legal matter.


Matthews North Carolina personal injury and auto accident attorneys and Charlotte North Carolina personal injury and auto accident and car accident and motorcycle accident attorneys.

Read our blog where we post recents news in developments in the personal injury and car and auto accidents law in North Carolina.  Learn interesting facts and legal concepts that will help you in your daily life.

Behind the Scenes of Click It or Ticket

Serge Semirog

We are sure that you have seen all of the different signs around Charlotte highways saying "wear your seat belt."  And, for your own personal safety and for that of your fellow passengers, you should!  But, perhaps you forgot one time to put it on or you just negligently drive without your seat belt.  In this post, we are going to look at the consequences for such actions during a police stop and a motor vehicle accident.

Police Stop

The first question that pops into your mind is probably: can the police stop me if they see me not wearing my seat belt?  Yes!  If you are in a vehicle that is not listed under § 20-135.2Aand you are driving the vehicle or in the front passenger seat, the police can stop your vehicle for failure to wear your seat belt.

But what about passengers sitting in the back of the car?  Here is where it gets tricky as a police officer cannot stop a vehicle if they see a back-seat passenger unbuckled.  Nevertheless, if a police officer stops your car for another reason and see that the passengers are not wearing their seat belt, he can issue a ticket to the passengers.  

Penalties for the aforementioned infractions are quite different depending on the seating.  A back-seat passenger is quite simple: he or she must pay the State Treasurer $10.00.  As for a driver or front-seat passenger, the fees are much higher:

$22.50 (Initial Fine) + $129.50 (General Court of Justice Fee) + $4.00 (Telephone Facilities Fee) + $2.00 (Law Enforcement Training and Certification Fee) = $158.00

As you can see, the cost for not wearing your seat belt in North Carolina is fairly hefty, but fine is not accompanied by any other punishment.  You will not get points on your driver's license; you will not experience an insurance surcharge:

Conviction of an infraction under this section has no other consequence.
— § 20-135.2A

Motor Vehicle Accident

Now, let's say that you were not wearing your seat belt and you cause an accident or someone else causes an accident with you.  Besides the obvious safety risks that you should always take into consideration, what are the consequences?  

When the police officer arrives to take a report of the accident, he will almost always ask if you were wearing your seat belt.  Your answer will go on the police report but there is little else that can happen.  The laws of North Carolina state:  

"Evidence of failure to wear a seat belt shall not be admissible in any criminal or civil trial, action, or proceeding except in an action based on a violation of this section or as justification for the stop of a vehicle or detention of a vehicle operator and passengers." 

As you can see, not wearing your seat belt does not enter into the equation.  You did not contribute to an accident because you did not wear your seat belt.  If you go to court, the fact that you were not wearing your seat belt is not admissible.  

While not wearing your seat belt may not affect your insurance nor your civil case should it arise, it can leave you at risk for serious bodily injury and possibly death--at the least a hefty fine.  Drive safely and wear your seat belt.

By Serge SemirogGoogle +