Ask Trooper Steve: Are seat belts always required?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions and shares tips about the rules of the road, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

One viewer asked Trooper Steve if there are jobs or vehicles that are exempt from wearing their seatbelt.

There are so many of you here in Central Florida that are always looking for a reason not to do something. I find it interesting because all the safety stuff that most people complain about is going to save you big time if and when a crash does occur.

I don’t say this to sound like some stickler, I say it because I’ve seen some horrific things on crash scenes that if the driver or the passenger simply just wore their seatbelt they would’ve walked away from the crash.

But you guys have presented the questions so I will answer it. There are a few times when not wearing a seatbelt won’t get you in trouble. If you are a person with a medical condition you can have a certified letter from your doctor on you while driving. If you were pulled over, you would be required to show that letter from your physician.


Keep in mind the law enforcement officer has a lot of special abilities but reading the mind of the driver is not one of them. They are stopping you because they see that you’re not wearing your seatbelt. Once you are pulled over you can explain to them politely your situation and present the letter. Keep in mind if you do not have that letter the chances of you getting a ticket are high.

Farm equipment, trucks of a weight of more than 26,000 pounds or greater and school buses purchased brand new prior to December 31, 2000 are also exempt from not having a seatbelt system. Also buses of mass transit.

This means something like our lynx bus system here in Central Florida. While on that bus you would not be required to wear a seatbelt. Also the employer of a newspaper home delivery service does not have to wear their seatbelt.

This one only applies when actively delivering the paper. Cruising along main roads and driving down the interstate is not part of that exception.

If you have a question for Trooper Steve, submit it here.

About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.