A Colorado House panel has approved a bill that would permit
police to pull over drivers who are not buckled up.
Currently, police can issue seat-belt citations to drivers
in the state only after stopping a vehicle for another traffic violation, such
The House Transportation and Energy Committee voted
Wednesday, Feb. 1, to advance the measure – HB1125 – to the full House, where a
similar bill fell one vote shy of advancing to Gov. Bill Owens’ desk a year
Despite lawmakers’ previous inability to adopt stricter
rules on buckling up, Colorado still could be in line for additional federal
dollars if it passes a primary enforcement bill by Dec. 31, 2008.
The Highway Bill approved by Congress last year gives any
state that adopts tougher seat-belt rules or achieves a belt usage rate of 85
percent one-time federal grant money for roads. Colorado, with a usage rate of
79 percent, could claim $12 million, the Denver
Colorado is one of 25 states without the stricter provision.
Twenty-four states, including Alaska and Mississippi who recently adopted
stricter rules, 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.