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CLICK IT & STICK IT UP YOURS OFFICER DO YOU WANNA GET SUED?

THE FEDERAL SEAT BELT LAW ONLY APPLIES TO COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES IN SOUTH CAROLINA & NORTH CAROLINA
The North Carolina Seat Belt law at G.S. 20 -135.2A clearly reads:
20-135.2A Seat belt use mandatory. (a) Each front seat occupant who is 16 years of age or older and each driver of a passenger motor vehicle manufactured with seat belts shall have a seat belt properly fastened about his or her body at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion on a street or highway in this State. (b) "Passenger Motor Vehicle," as used in this section, means a motor vehicle with motive power designed for carrying 10 passengers or fewer, but does not include a motorcycle, a motorized pedacycle or a trailer. (c) This section shall not apply to any of the following: . . . (5) A motor vehicle not required to be equipped with seat safety belts under federal law.

The South Carolina Seat Belt law at Section 56-5-6520 clearly reads:
SECTION 56-5-6520. Mandatory use of seat belt. The driver and every occupant of a motor vehicle, when it is being operated on the public streets and highways of this State, must wear a fastened safety belt which complies with all provisions of federal law for its use.

Both North and South Carolina Seat Belt statutes clearly show that the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard as found at 49 CFR 571.208 only applies to commercial motor vehicles. Both North Carolina at G.S. 20-37.11 and South Carolina have adopted the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, 49 U.S.C. Chapter 36 (Title XII of Public Law 99-570) The federal standards supercede and pre-empt any state standards which are not identical. See 49 U.S.C. Section 30103 (b)(1). A state may promulgate and enforce standards only if the state standards are identical to those standards promulgated by the Department of Transportation. 49 U.S.C. 30103 (b)(2). Therefore the definition of motor vehicle as provided by federal law controls. (All Emphasis added). Federal law clearly provides a definition of motor vehicle at Title 18 U.S.C. 31 which reads:

"Motor vehicle" as "every description or other contrivance propelled or drawn by mechanical means and used for commercial purposes on the highways in the transportation of passengers, or passengers and property."

Federal law at the Transportation Code Title 49 U.S.C.A. Section 10102(17) defines motor vehicle as:
"Motor vehicle" means a vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, or semitrailer propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used on a highway in "transportation," or a combination determined by the Commission, but does not include a vehicle, locomotive, or car operated only on a rail, or a trolley bus operated by electric power from a fixed overhead wire, and providing local passenger "transportation" similar to street-railway service."

North Carolina law at G.S. 20-4.01 defines driver and operator as being synonymous to wit:
. . . (7) Driver. The operator of a vehicle, as defined in subdivision (25). The terms "driver" and "operator" and their cognates are synonymous. . . . (25) Operator. A person in actual physical control of a vehicle which is in motion or which has the engine running. The terms "operator" and "driver" and their cognates are synonymous.

North Carolina law at GS 20-4.01(27) clearly defines a passenger vehicle to wit:


. . . (27) Passenger Vehicles. . . . b. For hire passenger vehicles. Vehicles transporting persons for compensation. ...

Furthermore, South Carolina Codes at Section 56-1-2030(1)(10)(11) clearly shows that a driver means a person who drives a commercial motor vehicle.
. . . (10) Driver means a person who drives a commercial motor vehicle or who is required to hold a commercial drivers license. (Your honor, are you a driver?)

Section 56-1-2030(11) defines a drivers license to wit:


. . . (11) Drivers license means a license issued to an individual which authorizes the individual to drive a motor vehicle. (See also Section 56-1-2030(1)).

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