Seat Belt Ticket or Just a Warning?

Written by Gregory Monte.

As I have indicated in several previous blog posts, the Pennsylvania State Police step-up enforcement on the roads during each holiday season and then report the results of their efforts on the  “Pennsylvania Pressroom” page.  One of the enforcement categories that is regularly documented is the number of tickets vs. warnings issued by the police for failure to use a seat belt. 

You would think that no matter where you drive in Pennsylvania, the State Troopers would follow the same protocol for this “crime” of not wearing a seatbelt.  In other words, the issuance of actual tickets vs. mere warnings should be somewhat equal in every county served by the police, correct?

But this is not the case at all – not by a long shot.

Seat belt Ticket “Cowboys”

It turns out that in 2019, you were almost 40x more likely to get a ticket (vs. a warning) from the PA State Police in Troop B than in Troop T.  Here are the figures:

Troop B – Allegheny, Washington, Greene, Fayette, Westmorland (portions)

  • Seatbelt Tickets Issued: 737
  • Seatbelt Warnings Issued: 107
  • Tickets/Warnings: 6.89

Troop T – PA Turnpike

  • Seatbelt Tickets Issued: 199
  • Seatbelt Warnings Issued: 1038
  • Tickets/Warnings: .18

Looks like we might have a new set of “Cowboy” Troopers when it comes to enforcement of the Pennsylvania seat belt law.  Just take a look at the rest of the seat belt ticket results for 2019 to see just how excessive these B Troopers are compared to the rest of their colleagues:

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