Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

This is a discussion on Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid? within the Traffic & Speeding Tickets forum, part of the CRIMINAL LAW, ARRESTS, TRAFFIC TICKETS category; This is a traffic question. I was sitting at a red light, and there were about 15 cars in 3 ...

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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #1
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Default Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

This is a traffic question.

I was sitting at a red light, and there were about 15 cars in 3 lanes of traffic. A motorcycle cop was driving in and out of traffic at the light checking peoples cars. The police officer was one lane over, two cars ahead, stopped for a brief second to look around at all the cars. He noticed my car and parked his bike in the middle of traffic, at the red light, in the street, and walked around two cars to get to my driver side. He asked me to roll down the windows. I did. He then said, "You're not wearing your seat belt, pull over here". He then got on his bike and proceeded to follow me to the street which I turned. He then ticketed me for tinted windows, (15%), the seat belt, and somehow the month sticker on my plate was missing even though my registration was valid. As the cop gave me the ticket and walked away, he said, "The reason I pulled you over here was to check if you were wearing your seat belt". Apparently he could not tell by looking through the front of the car window since the seat was black and the seat belt is black. He did not have an angle to see if my windows were initially tinted due to his angle of view. His bike was about 80 degrees in front of my car, rendering his vision of both driver side windows invalid.

My question is. Would pulling me over to "Check" if I was wearing my seat belt be something that I could contest in court, which I could win, and void all tickets. It's a pretty bad way to get a ticket. I was not wearing my seat belt due to my dislocated shoulder a few days earlier, which the doctor said they would write a note for.

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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 03:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

I wish to inform you that you may avoid seat belt ticket if you can show that you were not wearing because of your shoulder and can show medical report to support you. An exception to seat belt may be granted in case of medical treatment. Police officer can take reasonable steps in order to comply with law. Police officer can pull out if he can justify that his action was necessary for performing his duties.

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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 06:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

I understand. But he was swerving in and out of cars looking for things to bust people with. So he said he couldn't see if I was wearing my seat belt due to the black interior of my car. I don't see how that's a valid reason for a officer to pull someone over regardless of medical condition.

Isn't the law that there has to be another reason to pull someone over then to CHECK if they are wearing their seatbelt. Doesn't he have to have some sort of cause. That would set a precedent that anyone driving down the road, the officer could say he was CHECKING to see...

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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 08:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

Nope. In most states seatbelt violations can be the primary stop. They are even free to set up checkpoints for them. You may have been able to get the seat belt fine removed bc your dr could vouch for you.

That does not however invalidate the remaining violations.
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

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Nope. In most states seatbelt violations can be the primary stop. They are even free to set up checkpoints for them. You may have been able to get the seat belt fine removed bc your dr could vouch for you.

That does not however invalidate the remaining violations.
I understand that a seatbelt violation can be the primary stop. That is undisputed. But not knowing if the person was wearing their seatbelt or not, due to the officiers sight line, I cant see how the law would allow that to be the reason I am being stopped.

I could understand if the officer sees no seatbelt. But the actual officer telling me he pulled me over because he couldnt tell if I had my seatbelt on. I dont see how that is justified. Maybe I am wrong.
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 08:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

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I understand that a seatbelt violation can be the primary stop. That is undisputed. But not knowing if the person was wearing their seatbelt or not, due to the officiers sight line, I cant see how the law would allow that to be the reason I am being stopped.

I could understand if the officer sees no seatbelt. But the actual officer telling me he pulled me over because he couldnt tell if I had my seatbelt on. I dont see how that is justified. Maybe I am wrong.
And to follow up, if that is infact an invalid reason for the stop, that would make the other two tickets invalid as well. Because the other two issues were not discovered until after the stop. Im still doing my research on this one. I just don't really want to let a pissed off bike cop who hates his life, write me tickets because he was having a bad day. Keeping the roads safe and clean doesnt mean driving between cars making the roads UNSAFE himself, stopping cars at red lights and giving the public a general sense of WTF is this guy doing on the road with his bike. Ok rant over...
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

They can stop you if they can't tell if you are wearing your seatbelt or not.
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 08:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

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They can stop you if they can't tell if you are wearing your seatbelt or not.
So you are essentially saying they can stop you for any reason they want, without cause. Not knowing if you are wearing your seatbelt is not cause.
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 10:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

No I'm not "essentially" saying anything. I'm specifically saying they can stop you if they believe you are not wearing a seatbelt.

Because quite frankly he wouldn't have bobbed and weaves his way over to you unless he was pretty sure he had a valid citation to make.
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Old Jan 27th, 2012, 12:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Pulled over to "Check" for seatbelt. Valid?

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Originally Posted by manville140 View Post
...As the cop gave me the ticket and walked away, he said, "The reason I pulled you over here was to check if you were wearing your seat belt". Apparently he could not tell by looking through the front of the car window since the seat was black and the seat belt is black. He did not have an angle to see if my windows were initially tinted due to his angle of view. His bike was about 80 degrees in front of my car, rendering his vision of both driver side windows invalid...
So, your issue is that the officer pulled you over because he wanted to check for a seatbelt. It is clear from your statement here that the officer's view was problematic because of the color of the seat and seatbelt being the same color and not being able to know for sure. Sounds perfectly logical to pull you over if he suspected that you weren't wearing the seatbelt... Which apparently YOU WERE NOT.
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...I was not wearing my seat belt due to my dislocated shoulder a few days earlier, which the doctor said they would write a note for...
You are complaining that the officer stopped you for suspicion and not fact. However, as it turns out, the officer was actually right about you not wearing the seatbelt. If you had been wearing it, and that was the sole reason for having stopped you in the first place, then you might be able to fight the other two violations. However, since you were NOT wearing the seatbelt, any further objection to the violations or being pulled over really are unnecessary and ridiculous.

And a doctor is not going to be able to write you a note that would have gotten you out of this ticket, either. If you were unable to wear the seatbelt, then you should not have been driving at all. A doctor cannot override the law for something like this.
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