§17C-15-49. Operation of vehicles with safety belts; exception; penalty; educational program by West Virginia State Police.

(a) A person may not operate a passenger vehicle on a public street or highway of this state unless the person, any passenger in the back seat under 18 years of age, and any passenger in the front seat of the passenger vehicle is restrained by a safety belt meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. For the purposes of this section, the term “passenger vehicle” means a motor vehicle which is designed for transporting 15 passengers or less, including the driver, except that the term does not include a motorcycle, a trailer, or any motor vehicle which is not required on the date of the enactment of this section under a federal motor vehicle safety standard to be equipped with a belt system. The provisions of this section apply to all passenger vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1967, and being 1968 models and newer.

(b) The required use of safety belts as provided in this section does not apply to a duly appointed or contracted rural mail carrier of the United States Postal Service who is actually making mail deliveries or to a passenger or operator with a physically disabling condition whose physical disability would prevent appropriate restraint in the safety belt if the condition is duly certified by a physician who states the nature of the disability as well as the reason the restraint is inappropriate. The Division of Motor Vehicles shall adopt rules, in accordance with §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code, to establish a method to certify the physical disability and to require use of an alternative restraint system where feasible or to waive the requirement for the use of any restraint system.

(c) Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be fined $25. No court costs or other fees may be assessed for a violation of this section.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, no points may be entered on any driver’s record maintained by the Division of Motor Vehicles as a result of a violation of this section.

(e) The Governor’s Highway Safety Program, in cooperation with the West Virginia State Police and any other state departments or agencies and with county and municipal law-enforcement agencies, shall initiate and conduct an educational program designed to encourage compliance with safety belt usage laws. This program shall be focused on the effectiveness of safety belts, the monetary savings, and the other benefits to the public from usage of safety belts and the requirements and penalties specified in this law.

(f) This section does not abrogate or alter the provisions of §17C-15-46 of this code relating to the mandatory use of child passenger safety devices.