by states to toughen seat belt laws are meeting resistance as lawmakers
in several states balk at more aggressive enforcement and drivers
face stiff fines, USA Today reported.
states have rebuffed stricter enforcement measures this year. In
Washington state, a law that produced 58,000 tickets with $86 fines
in its first six months has brought about a drive to repeal it.
states except New Hampshire have laws requiring drivers to buckle
up. The fuss is over enforcement.
states treat violations as “secondary offenses,” the newspaper reported.
That means police officers cannot ticket drivers for failure to
wear a seat belt unless they are pulled over for another traffic
violation. Eighteen states consider a seat belt violation as a “primary
offense,” permitting police to pull over drivers for not buckling
up. Primary-enforcement states average 80 percent seat belt use;
states with secondary laws average 69 percent.
bills have been introduced in at least 16 states this year, according
to NHTSA. Most are pending, but measures have been rejected in North
Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia and Utah.
rewards states that increase the level of seat belt use. It has
handed out $50.5 million this year to 32 states, USA Today reported. The agency urges states to launch high-profile seat belt
campaigns called “Click It or Ticket.”
state passed such a law last year, and surveys showed 93 percent
of drivers buckling up, the nation's highest rate. But the flood
of tickets has triggered a campaign for a statewide vote to repeal
it. The campaign's slogan: “Click It and Stick It.”