Mandatory seat-belt use was enacted into law in Maryland starting in 1997.

While Sheriff’s Deputies enforce seat-belt laws every day, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office will be increasing patrols this week for seat-belt enforcement.

Maryland Motor Vehicle Law requires that the driver and all passengers of a motor vehicle must wear a seat belt or be restrained in a child safety seat if applicable.

All children under age eight must ride in an appropriate child safety seat, unless the child is 4’9” or taller. The restraint must be used in accordance with the child safety seat and vehicle manufacturer’s instructions. Child safety seats include car seats, booster seats or other federally approved child safety devices.

The fines for not wearing a seat belt or using a child safety seat in a motor vehicle are $83. You can be pulled over for not wearing a seat belt, or for passengers not wearing them.

In Maryland, seat belt compliance was 90.3 percent in 2018, a decrease from 92.1 percent in 2017, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.