Larry's Legal Lessons: Lack of Seat Belts can be Costly

If you are injured in a motor vehicle crash, through no fault of your own, a 2005 law will adversely impact your jury verdict if you were not wearing a seat belt.

Section 6. Fire Apparatus and Fire Department Facilities. (1) Scope. This section shall apply to industrial fire departments and private, public or contractual type fire departments. This section shall not apply to volunteer fire departments. (2) Persons riding on fire apparatus. Beginning September 1, 1991, a person riding on fire apparatus shall be secured to the vehicle by seat belts or safety harnesses when the vehicle is in motion.

LARRY BENNETT, a Contributing Editor, is an attorney and the Deputy Director of Fire Science Education at the University of Cincinnati's Fire Science Department. He has been a volunteer firefighter/EMT for the past 27 years, and is the author of a new textbook, Fire Service Law, that is used by the National Fire Academy (NFA) in its distant learning course, Political and Legal Foundations of Fire Protection. The NFA appointed Larry as their Subject Matter Expert to update the curriculum in this course. and he serves on the NFPA 1500 Fire Service Occupational Safety and Health Committee. Larry writes a free Fire & EMS and Safety Law newsletter which you can sign up online to receive free. Larry writes a free Fire & EMS Law newsletter that can be read at the UC Fire Science web page To read Larry's complete biography and view his archived articles, click here. You can reach Larry by e-mail at