Self Regional Healthcare and hospitals across South Carolina support the Dec. 9, 2005 law that allows law enforcement officers to stop a driver for not wearing a safety belt or not securing a child in a restraint seat. The previous law did not include primary enforcement, meaning officers could stop and ticket a motorist only if the motorist had committed another traffic offense.

Some people choose to violate the law for various reasons. Many violators say seat belt usage should be a personal decision. They argue that not buckling up only affects the person who chooses not to wear a seat belt.

People who violate the law are subject to a $25 fine, but that is a small price to pay compared to the pain and suffering of those who lose a loved one in a wreck involving someone not wearing a safety belt.

Studies regularly show that the rate of deaths is much higher in wrecks when people are not wearing seat belts. A study by the National Safety Council shows that only 26 percent of young people ages 16-24 killed in wrecks from 1998-2002 were wearing seat belts.