Seat-belt law headed for House vote in Delaware

| 4/9/2003

A bill that would permit police officers to pull over drivers for failure to wear a seat belt is headed for a vote before the full House.

HB43 received an endorsement “on its merits” from the House Public Safety Committee in Delaware March 20. Delaware Rep. William A. Oberle sponsored the legislation, which makes failure to wear a seat belt a primary offense.

Under current law, police can issue seat-belt citations only if they stop drivers for another traffic violation. With new authority, police can pull over drivers if they see anyone in the vehicle not buckled up. The fine would be $28.75.

Oberle, R-Beecher's Lot, is hopeful the bill, if signed into law, would curb injuries in the state resulting from failure to wear a seat belt.

“Recently, Delaware has experienced an increase in motor vehicle fatalities. In many cases, the persons killed were not wearing seat belts,” he wrote. “Other states that have enacted primary seat belt laws have seen a corresponding increase in seat belt compliance.”