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Everyone Buckled; North Dakota’s law to save lives

Everyone Buckled; North Dakota’s law to save lives

For Immediate Release: Jul 25 2023
STATEWIDE, N.D. – North Dakota’s seat belt law is changing on Aug. 1.  

Beginning next week, the seat belt law is moving from a secondary to primary enforcement, meaning no other violation is required for a driver to be pulled over by law enforcement and issued a seat belt citation. The law will also require all occupants to wear a seat belt, regardless of where they are sitting in the vehicle.

Preliminary data for 2022 shows that 69% of crash fatalities were unbelted where seat belts were present in the vehicle. Research shows that states that have primary enforcement have experienced up to a 10-12% increase in their observed seat belt use.

Seat belts are the single most effective safety device to prevent death and injury in a motor vehicle crash. The failure to wear a seat belt results in more motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota than most other factors. By increasing seat belt use, lives will be saved, and serious injuries will be prevented on North Dakota roadways. 

The primary seat belt law goes into effect during Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic), a Vision Zero strategy to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roadways. Summer H.E.A.T. will take place through August to encourage everyone to wear a seat belt, use appropriate child passenger safety seats, follow all posted speed limits, and drive sober and distraction-free.

Visit to learn more about North Dakota’s primary seat belt law and the Vision Zero initiative.