South Carolina committee supports seat-belt bill

| 3/7/2003

The South Carolina House Education and Public Works Committee approved legislation this week to permit police to pull over drivers who are not buckled up.

H3128, sponsored by Rep. Joel Lourie, D-Richland County, would create a primary law for seat belt enforcement. Under current law, police cannot ticket drivers for seat belt violations unless the driver is pulled over for another traffic violation.

However, the measure forbids police to search vehicle occupants solely for a seat belt infraction.

“A vehicle, driver, or occupant in a vehicle may not be searched solely because of a violation of this article,” Lourie wrote.

The bill now heads to the House floor for further debate. A similar bill, HB3100, remains in the House Education and Public Works Committee.