Why Doesn’t New Hampshire Have a Seat Belt Law

New Hampshire does not have a seat belt law because it is the only state in the US that has never adopted such a legislation. New Hampshire is also known as “Live Free or Die” state, and its citizens strongly value their freedom.

This means that they are reluctant to pass laws which restrict people from doing what they want, even when it comes to wearing seat belts.

Since there is no law requiring people to wear seat belts, many drivers choose not to buckle up while driving. While most other states recognize the safety benefit of wearing a seat belt and require its use by law, New Hampshire residents remain unconvinced of this need for additional regulation on personal choice.

New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. without a primary seat belt law, which means that police officers cannot pull you over for not wearing a seat belt.

This lack of legislation has been controversial and there are many theories as to why it hasn’t adopted such a law yet; some speculate that it’s because New Hampshire prides itself on its individualism and freedom, while others suggest that the state legislature is simply resistant to change and regulation.

Whatever the reason may be, this decision has left New Hampshirites vulnerable when they’re behind the wheel – prompting concerned citizens to take action into their own hands by carrying out grassroots campaigns advocating for stricter safety measures on roads across the state.

Why Doesn'T New Hampshire Have a Seat Belt Law

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Why Does New Hampshire Not Have Seatbelts?

New Hampshire is one of the few states in the United States that does not have a seat belt law. This means that it is not illegal for drivers and passengers to go without wearing a seatbelt while driving or riding in a car.

While some may view New Hampshire’s lack of a seatbelt law as risky, there are certain reasons why this state has chosen to remain free from such legislation.

To begin with, many people believe that New Hampshire’s geography plays an important role in its decision to opt out of having seatbelts laws. The eastern section of New Hampshire consists mostly of rural roads and highways where traffic is light, so the chances for head-on collisions are low compared to more populated areas like cities and towns across America.

Furthermore, accidents on these roads often occur at relatively low speeds due to their winding nature; therefore, using a seatbelt may be less likely to reduce injury than if they were traveling on busy highways at higher speeds.

In addition, many argue that enforcement would be difficult since police officers cannot pull over every car they see without proof that someone is not wearing their seat belt—which can be hard to prove unless you are directly behind them when the violation occurs.

Furthermore, those who oppose mandatory use also argue that it should remain up individuals whether or not they wish wear one – after all personal freedom comes before safety concerns sometimes!

Ultimately, no matter what side you take on this issue it appears clear why New Hampshire has decided against passing any sort of Seat Belt Law—at least for now anyway!

Do People Wear Seatbelts in New Hampshire?

As of July 1, 2020, New Hampshire is one of the few states in the US that does not have a mandatory seatbelt law. Despite this, many people in New Hampshire choose to wear their seat belts when they get into a vehicle.

According to data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 85% of drivers and passengers in New Hampshire reported wearing their seatbelts while driving or riding as passengers in 2017.

Wearing a seatbelt can significantly reduce your risk of injury if you are involved in an accident and could even save your life. The NHTSC also found that individuals who reported always wearing their seat belts were half as likely to be killed than those who did not buckle up at all times.

Although there is no legal requirement for adults to wear a seat belt while driving or riding as a passenger, doing so may greatly increase safety for everyone inside the car.

What is the Only Us State Without a Seat Belt Law?

The only US state without a seat belt law is New Hampshire. The Granite State has very little in terms of traffic safety laws, although it does have primary enforcement of child restraint requirements for children under the age of 18.

Despite this lack of regulation, there are still strong incentives for wearing a seat belt – both in terms of personal safety and financial penalties if you’re caught not wearing one by police officers.

In New Hampshire, failure to wear a seatbelt can result in fines ranging from $25-$50 dollars depending on the severity of the violation; however, due to the lack of legislation around this issue, those who choose not to buckle up may face fewer consequences than elsewhere.

It is important to remember that even without an official law requiring people to wear a seat belt, being responsible and buckling up is still strongly encouraged as it can significantly reduce your chances of suffering serious injury or death during an accident.

When Did New Hampshire Require Seat Belts?

New Hampshire was one of the last states in the US to require seat belts. It wasn’t until 1985 that the state passed a law requiring all occupants of motor vehicles (except buses) traveling on public highways to wear safety belts.

The first offense resulted in a warning, and subsequent offenses carried fines ranging from $25 – $100 depending upon how many passengers were not wearing safety belts.

In addition, drivers could be cited for failing to ensure that their passengers wore their seatbelts, with fines between $50-$200 per violation after a warning was issued.

New Hampshire has since modified its laws to include more stringent requirements such as making it illegal for children under 16 years old or adults over 65 years old not wearing their seatbelts while driving or riding in cars manufactured after April 1st 1988;

And vehicle manufacturers are required by law to install airbags or automatically retracting shoulder harnesses along with lap belt systems instead of just lap belt systems alone. The state also offers incentives like reduced insurance rates for those who wear their seatbelts regularly.


It is clear why New Hampshire does not have a seat belt law. The state has an aversion to government regulations and laws that could potentially infringe upon the rights of its citizens. This attitude towards legislation means that any proposed seat belt law would be met with resistance and ultimately fail in passage through the legislature.

Ultimately, while it is important for everyone to practice safe driving habits, residents of New Hampshire will remain exempt from having a law requiring them to wear seat belts when driving.