In New Jersey wearing a seatbelt is required for driver and passengers with special requirements for children. All occupants of a vehicle both front and back must wear a seat belt. Failure to wear a seat belt as a front seat passenger is a primary offense, allowing law enforcement to stop the vehicle if an officer does not see a seat belt being used. For passengers in the back seat, failure to wear a seat belt is a secondary offense. Back seat passengers may be cited if the vehicle is stopped for another offense.
The charge of failing to wear a seatbelt generally originates at the time an officer approaches a vehicle stopped for a moving violation and observes lack of seatbelt use by driver and passenger(s). However, not necessarily in all cases. Failing to wear a seatbelt particularly in the front seats can also be seen from a side angle in moving vehicles.
The seatbelt statute is N.J.S.A. 39:3-76.2 and N.J.S.A. 39:3-76.2.a. through N.J.S.A. 39:3-76.2.p. A consult with an attorney is recommended.