Police would be permitted to pull over drivers who are not buckled up
under a bill approved by a Colorado Senate committee.
Currently, police can issue seat-belt citations to drivers in the state
only after stopping a vehicle for another traffic violation, such as speeding.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday, March 6, to advance the
bill – HB1125 – to the full Senate. The House approved the bill on a 33-32
Supporters said passing the legislation would save lives. Opponents
argued the legislation is less effective than a good marketing campaign and
could lead to racial profiling.
If approved by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Bill Owens, Colorado would be in line for additional federal dollars if it passes a primary enforcement
bill by Dec. 31, 2008.
Congress approved legislation this past year that 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