A Colorado House panel has
advanced a measure that would permit police to pull over drivers who are not
wearing their seat belts.
The House Transportation and
Energy Committee voted 7-4 on Feb. 2 to create a primary law for seat-belt
enforcement. The bill – HB1138 – now heads to the House Appropriations
Committee for further review.
police can issue seat-belt citations to drivers only after stopping a vehicle
for another traffic violation.
proposal, drivers found in violation would be fined at least $15. No points
would be assessed against the drivers’ licenses.
While supporters of a primary
seat-belt law sometimes point to federal money the state would lose for failing
to establish a primary law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
says no direct grant funds are doled out for having a primary law.
However, a proposal before
Congress would give any state that upgrades to a primary law one-time grant
money, said Jack Oates of the NHTSA.
Meanwhile, some indirect funds are
available to states that tighten their safety-belt laws.
One incentive grant program,
scheduled to end soon, requires states to meet four of six criteria, one of
which is passing a primary seat-belt law. Others include having a secondary law
and educating the public on child passenger safety.
is one of 28 states without a primary seat-belt law. Twenty-one states allow police to pull over drivers solely
for not wearing their seat belts. New Hampshire is the only state without a
mandatory seat-belt law.