Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1984 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the definition of "Operator" the following definition:-
"Occupant crash protection device", a passive restraint device which operates in accordance with the specifications of 49 Code of Federal Regulations 571.208, as authorized by 15 USC 1392, in effect on July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-five.
SECTION 2. Section 7A of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
The purpose of the safety and combined safety and emissions inspection regulations shall require that motor vehicles are provided with the following equipment maintained in good order: a vehicle identification number, brakes, stop lamps, lights, directional signals, horn, exhaust system, steering and suspension systems, glazing, windshield cleaner, number plates, tires, fenders, bumpers, external sheet metal, reflectors, splash guards, chock blocks, air pollution emission control systems or devices, and safety belts for motor vehicles subject to section seven BB.
SECTION 3. Said chapter 90 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 7AA the following section:-
Section 7BB. No person shall operate a motor vehicle nor ride as a passenger in a motor vehicle on any way unless such person is wearing a safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened. No person operating a motor vehicle shall permit any person under the age of sixteen to ride as a passenger in such motor vehicle unless such person is wearing a safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to: (1) any child less than five years of age who is subject to the provisions of section seven AA; (2) any person riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle in which all seating positions equipped with safety belts are occupied by other passengers who are using said restraints; (3) any person riding as a passenger in a bus or motor bus as defined in section one; (4) any person riding in a motor vehicle manufactured before July first, nineteen hundred and sixty-six; (5) any person operating or riding as a passenger in any motor vehicle in which safety belts were not installed as original equipment at the date of manufacture; (6) any person who is physically unable to use safety belts; provided, however, that such condition is duly certified by a physician who shall state the nature of the condition, as well as the reason such use is inappropriate; and provided, further, that no such physician shall be subject to liability in any civil action for the issuance or for the failure to issue such certification; (7) any rural mail carrier of the United States Postal Service operating a motor vehicle while in the performance of his duties; (8) any driver or passenger who frequently stops and leaves a motor vehicle or delivers property from said vehicle, if the speed of such vehicle between stops does not exceed fifteen miles per hour; (9) any police officer operating a motor vehicle while performing his duties as a police officer.
Any person who operates a motor vehicle without wearing a safety belt, and any person sixteen years of age or over who rides as a passenger in a motor vehicle without wearing a safety belt, who is not subject to the exceptions provided in this section shall be subject to a fine of fifteen dollars. Any operator of a motor vehicle shall also be subject to an additional fine of fifteen dollars for each person under the age of sixteen who is a passenger in said motor vehicle and who is not subject to the exceptions provided in this section and is found to be in violation of this section. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by law enforcement agencies only when an operator of a motor vehicle has been stopped for a violation of the motor vehicle laws. For the purpose of enforcing this section, any passenger in a motor vehicle shall, upon the request of a law enforcement officer, give his true name, address and age.
Any person who receives a citation for violating this section may contest such citation pursuant to section three of chapter ninety C. Except for proceedings conducted pursuant to said section three, a violation of this section shall not be used as evidence in any civil action. A violation of this section shall not be considered as a conviction of a moving violation of the motor vehicle laws for the purposes of determining surcharges on motor vehicle insurance premiums pursuant to section one hundred and thirteen B of chapter one hundred and seventy-five.
SECTION 4. Section 113B of chapter 175 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the twelfth paragraph the following paragraph:-
In fixing and establishing a premium charge for bodily insury coverage for a motor vehicle, the commissioner shall reflect the savings attributable to the increased use of safety belts as required by the provisions of section seven BB of chapter ninety.
SECTION 5. Any motor vehicle offered for sale or registered in the commonwealth which is manufactured on or after September first, nineteen hundred and eighty-nine shall be equipped with an occupant crash protection device, as defined in section one of chapter ninety of the General Laws.
Any motor vehicle manufacturer who sells or delivers a motor vehicle which fails to comply with this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for each sale or delivery of a noncomplying motor vehicle. Compliance with this section by the manufacturer shall be made by self-certification and the manufacturer shall forward to the registrar of motor vehicles a statement certifying that such vehicles are in compliance with the provisions of this section.
SECTION 6. The governor's highway safety bureau shall conduct a public information and education program in motor vehicle occupant protection under the supervision of the secretary of public safety. The public information and education program shall consist of public service announcements, demonstrations, regional conferences, pre-school and grammar school education programs and police training.
The secretary of public safety shall file a report containing his findings on the effectiveness of such education program with the clerk of the house of representatives and said clerk shall forward the report to the joint legislative committee on public safety no later than March thirtieth, nineteen hundred and eighty-six; provided, however, that the report shall include a survey showing the percentage of drivers in the commonwealth wearing safety belts in February of nineteen hundred and eighty-six.
SECTION 7. The secretary of the commonwealth shall cause to be placed upon the official ballot to be submitted to the voters at the next biennial state election the following nonbinding question:- "Do you approve of an act passed by the General Court in the year nineteen hundred and eighty-five, entitled 'An Act requiring the use of safety belts in certain motor vehicles' ".
SECTION 8. The passage of this act shall not be interpreted to rescind the requirement of occupant crash protection as contained in 49 Code of Federal Regulations 571.208, as authorized by 15 USC 1392.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect on January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-six.