Seat Belt Bill Clicks with Senate

January 31st, 2010 by Kim Lenz

RICHMOND – The state Senate has passed a bill making failure to wear a seat belt a primary offense in Virginia.

The legislation passed Wednesday, 24-16. Sen. Tommy Norment voted for the bill.

Currently, failure to wear a seat belt is a secondary offense in Virginia. Police cannot ticket motorists for failing to use seat belts unless the driver has been pulled over for another violation.

Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Sen. Harry B. Blevins, R-Chesapeake, would make failure to wear a seat belt a primary traffic offense. It would apply only to front-seat occupants.

Under the bill, violators would be “subject to a civil penalty of $25 to be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Literary Fund.”

Blevins, a former high school principal, says wearing seat belts is a big safety issue. He said the bill would save the lives of motorists, especially teens.

Law enforcement, insurance and motor vehicle groups supported the bill. Opponents suggested it would give police the ability to pull over motorists without justifiable cause.

SB 9 now goes to the House of Delegates for consideration.

5 Responses to Seat Belt Bill Clicks with Senate

  1. Anonymous

    January 31, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I live in the midwest and am a frequent visitor to Virginia. Illinois has had a seat belt law for quite a few years. I used to object to being forced to do something I felt I did not have to do, but after a short time it has now become a habit and I am glad I learned to acquire it. It does save lives and is a good habit to acquire. If you don’t care to save your life then think about your passenger. And if you forget to put your safety belt on then a small fine of $25 is a small price to pay as a reminder.

  2. Anonymous

    January 31, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Just another reason to pull you over. Not good.

  3. Don Mitchell

    February 1, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Ah, yes… the great nanny state. There are two problems with this legislation: The first is that it’s obviously just a revenue raiser. The fact that it’s the government makes it no less extortion.
    The second is that one can envision police using it as an excuse to harass drivers. “Well, sir, I pulled you over just because I suspected that you might not be wearing your seat belt, but, now that I’ve got you here…”

    As government becomes more intrusive, citizens should become more skeptical. As Edward R. Murrow once said, “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”

  4. Anonymous

    February 1, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Another police state law. It ranks up there with the anti-sodomy laws passed a few years ago that reinforced oral sex as a crime. No wonder the people in the state legislature are grumpy! They’re in dire need of a …………?

  5. Anonymous

    February 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    My fellow brethren in the republican party are going nuts again. Whatever happened to less government regulation? Last year it was cigarettes in private businesses, this year seat belts, cell phones, and coming soon trans fats.

    Hey guys and gals in Richmond, fix the roads, fund the schools, stop passing the buck and tax burden to the local governments to save your skin. Make decisions that mean something.

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