New Seat Belt Law Proposed

It's common sense to buckle up behind the wheel, but some state leaders want to make the law tougher. Currently, drivers can get a ticket if they're not wearing their seatbelts when they're stopped for another infraction. A new bill would make failing to buckle up a stoppable offense.

It's a second attempt at a bill that failed last year, but just barely.
Backers say it's supposed to save lives.

"Sadly, 80 percent of people involved in fatalities are not wearing their seatbelt," said Sgt. L.C. Morgan with the Colorado Springs Police.

Sgt. Morgan agrees there's a safety element involved, but that kind of authority has led to trouble before.

"There've been problems in different areas nation wide where it opens the door for officers to potentially being charged with profiling," Morgan said.

And Libertarians like Desiree Hickson say it's government trying to go too far to regulate a victimless crime. Buckling up she says, is a matter of personal responsibility.

"I think people are just getting fed up. I can take care of myself just fine, especially if I'm driving along and minding my own business," said Hickson. "I shouldn't be criminalized for not wearing my seatbelt."

But Sgt. Morgan says if it comes to it, writing tickets would be easier than seeing the number of driving fatalities go up in years to come.

"It's a ticket we're going to write in hopes of changing the attitudes and mindsets of people who choose not wear seatbelt."

If the bill passes, getting pulled over for not wearing a seat belt would be a class "B" traffic infraction. That means no points will be taken from a license and there could be a small fine.


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