YULEE, Fla. -- It is a fact that wearing a seat belt can save your life. That is why Florida requires you to buckle up if you are driving a car. But what if the car is in your campground and not on the roadway. Is that an exception?
Charles Ross was getting ready to leave his campground in his Oldsmobile. He said had just left his driveway and was still in the campground.
"The cop standing right there (near the exit) and he stopped me," said Ross.
Ross said a Nassau County Sheriff's Office deputy was on the property for something else but noticed that he was not wearing his seat belt.
"He said 'I see you don't have your seat belt on, I said 'yes sir I will by the time I hit (Highway) 17.'"
U.S. Highway 17 is the main road to and from the privately operated campground where Ross lives.
"He wrote me a ticket for no seat belt," said Ross, "I was surprised, I'm on private property."
Ross was given a $101 ticket for violation of the seat belt law
"I told him 'this is private property' he said 'no this is public property,'" said Ross.
Was the officer right?
We checked and unfortunately, the law does not address public or private property. It simply states it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle in this state unless the person is restrained by a safety belt.
"I always wear my seat belt,"said Ross, "I used to drive truck for a living, I'm faithful to the seat belt."
Ross said his driving habit is to buckle his seat belt just before he exits the campground and to unsnap the buckle as soon as he enters the campground.
"This is private property and we're 60-70 feet away from the right of way," he said.
He has 30 days to appeal the $101 citation and said he plans to fight it.
Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said the ticket is correct.
"If the vehicle is in motion, it doesn't matter where it is," said Leeper, "The driver has to have his seat belt buckled or he will be ticketed."
First for you:
The law says it is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle in this state unless each passenger under the age of 18 years are restrained by a safety belt or by a child restraint device.
First Coast News