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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.


  1. Gravatar for Daniel 8791

    I'm very glad to see this day come, as I think it makes sense to high degree (I'm sure most people do). However, even in this day and age; I have two good friends that still refuse to wear seatbelts. I've asked nicely and not so nicely for them to wear seat belts, with no success yet in changing their minds. And the more sad part is that they're father and mother of two young boys. My male friend says that his prerogative is because as a teen, he claims that he lost 3 friends in three seperate crashes into ponds or lakes where the people ended up drowning. His tale still seems hard to believe to me; but maybe this new law will make him do more research and thinking about the actual odds and facts regarding wearing seat belts.

  2. Gravatar for Mike Bryant

    Very good point and keep working on them. Thanks for taking the time to read and post a comment.

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