Yesterday, as a back seat passenger (not the driver or front seat) I received a NZ $150 ticket for not wearing a seat belt. Honestly I did not know there was a law requiring a seat belt in the rear seats. No warning, no signs (who looks at signs when are not driving anyway), no leniency just a ticket for $150. NY has no such law for back seat passengers. A plain clothes,policeman stood at the light watching for those not wearing a seat belt and radios ahead to police officers waiting to pull you over.
Anyway I guess it makes the most sense just to pay the fine. I feel the need to complain although I am sure no one will care. I also am tempted not to pay since it will be a long time until I return, of course that may not be the right thing to do either. Any suggestions? Anyone else had this happen to you?
Only been here two days and this happens, sort of spoils the vacation and I feel the need to warn others if this happens to be a new trend to enforce this law on tourist.
Maybe this is how they are planning on paying for all the earthquake damage.
“7.10Persons of or over 15 years must wear seat belts and keep them fastened
“(1)Subclause (2) applies when a person—
“(a)is in a motor vehicle; and
“(b)is occupying a seat fitted with a seat belt, whether or not the seat belt is an approved seat belt; and
“(c)is aged 15 years or more.
“(2)While the vehicle is in motion on the road, the person must—
“(a)wear the seat belt correctly so that he or she is properly restrained; and
“(b)keep the seat belt securely fastened.”
NY may well not have such a law, but since NZ does and you are in NZ, that is rather a moot point. Pay your fine and chalk it up as an expensive lesson; these things have a way of making trouble if ignored, particularly with the number of countries that now share data on such matters.
Yes, one should check if you are driving, but the OP was a rear seat passenger, obviously visiting. Courtesy would say let him off with a warning / unless they hate tourist.
You can equally flip that around and say that courtesy would suggest one should acknowledge and adhere to local laws and customs when visiting a foreign country. They don't have to tell you about the laws with big signs (especially laws that are so common around the world).
A fine may seem harsh, but he is required to obey the laws. Ignorance is no excuse. NZ may operate zero tolerance on this for all we know.
It's also the law in the UK - here the fine is usually £60, but can be up to £500. Drivers are responsible for ensuring children are wearing seatbelts and adults are responsible for their own. I usually remind visitors to my country this is the case. It's now a habit for me to wear a seatbelt, regardless of the law wherever I am or which seat I am in in a car. Good habit to get into. May be because I am so used to wearing them, I'm wondering why the OP didn't wear them, given the safety benefits.
and the comment about paying about earthquake damage is going to piss off a few New Zealanders.
And not surprisingly so.
As others have said, ignorance of the law is not an excuse and, in any case (for what it's worth), it is not, I think, uncommon around the world for the law to require rear-seat passengers to wear a seatbelt, although that might not be the case in New York state.
Without knowing what the law, regulations and common practice are in New Zealand for this offence regarding the imposition of a fine, it is impossible to say whether being let off with a warning was an option that could legitimately have been exercised or not.
Let's focus on not wearing the seatbelt.
Go around the next corner and you have a no fault accident.
You get thrown out of the car, as not wearing a seatbelt you have not protection.
Serious injury, you die!!!
Wear your safety device and stop whining about some police officer trying to keep you alive