Washington State’s first seat belt laws took effect in 1986. On January 13, 2002, being buckled up became a primary enforcement law, meaning law enforcement can take action if they see you in a motor vehicle and not wearing a seat belt.
Once primary enforcement law was enacted in 2002, seat belt usage rates drastically increased. As of 2012, Washington State had the highest seat belt use in the nation, according to Washington Traffic Safety Commission. In most counties in WA, arund 97% of residents buckle up, which has saved hundreds of lives each year.