Can I get an exemption to just wear a lap belt?

Sgt. Chris Yagelski

Q: I get the law on seat belts, but I have a small problem. I am very short and the shoulder harness chokes me whenever I turn my head. Is there some sort of exemption I can get to just wear a lap belt?

A: No, there is no exemption for discomfort. Seat belts must be used by all occupants of a motor vehicle including trucks. To be in compliance you must wear a seatbelt in accordance to the manufacturer’s design. Wearing a seatbelt incorrectly like tucking it under your armpit or putting it behind your back is just like not wearing one at all and you are subject to a ticket. If your vehicle does not have a height adjustment on the B pillar area and you are experiencing discomfort, you may purchase an aftermarket clip that is designed to reposition the belt. There is an exemption for a specific medical reason you should not wear safety belts, provided that the occupant has written documentation of the specific medical reasons from a physician.

Q: My mom tried to renew her driver’s license and failed the eye test. We were so happy because we wanted her to stop driving before she caused an accident. So my mom says, “The heck with it, what can they do to me, I’m 87,” and she is driving anyway. What can we do? What kind of trouble can she get into?

A: Your mom can be re-tested by an eye doctor to determine her ability to drive or can have restrictions placed on her license. If she refuses to get a license and continues to drive she is subject to a written ticket (misdemeanor arrest) for operating without a driver’s license. As difficult as it is steps should be taken by the family to get the vehicle from her until she is properly licensed.

Q: I drive to work on Michigan Blvd. everyday just past the new police station. It never fails I always run into a school bus stopped on the other side of the road with the “stop sign” out and lights flashing. Because of the hill, no one can see cars that are stopped so some people stop completely and others drive right through. Who is right?

A: On a highway that is divided with a median or dividing section like the concrete planter barriers, if the school bus is on the opposite side a person who drives an approaching vehicle need not stop and may proceed with due caution for the safety of children boarding or leaving the school bus.

Q: I just turned 15 and was wondering if I can go to a commercial driving school or do I have to take the one my high school offers?

A: Driver’s education programs that are not offered through Indiana high schools must be approved by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You do not have to attend driver education classes to receive a learner permit or a driver’s license. However, if you choose to take driver education classes in order to obtain a license as early as possible, you must attend at least 30 hours of classroom time and 6 hours of “behind-the-wheel” training with a BMV-approved driver education program.

The winner of last week’s $30 gas card sponsored by Blue Chip Casino was Meredith Payne of Michigan City. The answer of “How many times did the painter paint the number eight on the doors to the Blue Chip tower?” was 20! 

The sponsor for this week’s riddle are our friends at the Lighthouse Restaurant 600 Wabash St. in Michigan City. The winner receives a $30 gas card.

It is exactly 10 p.m., and a burglar decides to break into a home by breaking a window and unlocking the back door. The burglar takes items including a large vase and a brand new iPad. As he is leaving he notices two $100 bills sitting on the kitchen table next to the door. Even though he has stolen several items he decides not to take them. Why?

The 10th correct answer by phone or email at exactly 1 p.m. today wins.

To answer a question or ask one, contact Sgt. Chris Yagelski at 873-1461, Ext. 1020, or e-mail

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