Tie vote kills tighter seat-belt law in Massachusetts

| 6/5/2003

A bill to strengthen Massachusetts’ seat-belt law was killed May 29 after a deadlock vote on the matter by House members.

The proposal would have permitted police to pull over drivers who are not buckled up. Under current law, police can only cite drivers for not buckling up if the officer stops the vehicle for another traffic violation.

A 73-73 vote defeated the measure. A similar bill was also defeated by a tie vote in 2001.

This year’s measure would have passed, but one of its staunchest supporters, Rep. Colleen Garry, D-Dracut, missed the vote because she was making a phone call, the Boston Herald reported.

Other provisions of H2128 included prohibiting police from searching the vehicle and its occupants solely because of a seat-belt violation.