Starting June 9th, it is against the law to not be wearing a seat belt in your car. The difference is that it is now a primary offense, which means that the police can pull you over and ticket you for that violation alone. Up till now, it was a secondary offense, which meant that you needed to be stopped for another reason and have some other violation. It was the second or extra charge that you received.
I was at the capitol on the last day to see the debate. It was interesting to hear two of the major arguments:
That it would lead to more racial profiling. The response was a little startling, that the profiling would take place anyway if that was the intent. The concern as I saw it wasn’t that there would actually be more stops, but that there was would be another supposed justification for the stop.
The second argument was interesting as Representative Paul Kohls and Tom Emmers argued for the lifting of the gag rule to allow jurors to hear the truth as to if a person was wearing a seatbelt in civil cases. It was heartening to hear them talk about an issue that is dear to my heart and will hopefully be their position as we talk about direct action and the tort thresholds. Subject to relevancy and prejudicial issues it would be much better if the jury was told about all issues.
Congratulations to Representative Kim Norton on moving the bill through this debate and getting the bill passed. It’s clear from looking at the traffic death numbers, it’s a bill that should save lives, as fellow Injuryboard member, Wayne Parsons recently pointed out, it is a simple thing that makes a big difference.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.