The Constitutionality of Mandatory Seat Belt Use Legislation

Report No: 72-R15

Published in 1972

About the report:

A number of trends indicate that mandatory seat belt use legislation is to be expected within the near future. The constitutionality of such self-protective legislation has been the subject of recent speculation. Constitutional challenges may be expected to come in the areas of due process, equal protection, and right to privacy. Recent decisions dealing with motorcycle helmet legislation form a basis for discussion of the constitutional issues involved. These decisions illustrate principles upon which the courts could sustain mandatory seat belt use legislation as constitutionally valid.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • W. Allen Ames

Last updated: February 8, 2024

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