proposal in the Minnesota Senate would permit police to pull over drivers who
are not buckled up. It would also hike the fine from $25 to $300.
measure, SF2550, sponsored by Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, would create a
primary law for seat-belt enforcement. Currently, police can ticket drivers
only after stopping a vehicle for another traffic violation.
Murphy’s bill would make the seat-belt violation a petty
misdemeanor; Most of the fine would go to pay for drug detoxification services
provided by counties, and the rest would pay for emergency medical services,
the Fairmount Sentinel reported.
If signed into law, it would put Minnesota in line for
additional federal money.
An incentive program recently introduced in Congressencourages
states to increase seat-belt enforcement. The program would give states three years to enact a primary seat-belt law or
reach a rate of usage of at least 90 percent.
to do one or the other would result in a loss of up to 4 percent of federal
highway funds to the state.
SF2550 is in the Senate Finance Committee.