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Legislation would quintuple seat belt fines in MO

By   /   January 24, 2013  /   3 Comments

CLICK IT: Missouri drivers caught without their seat belts on could soon pay a lot more for those tickets.

By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog

JEFFERSON CITY – A proposed bill would quintuple the fine for not wearing a seat belt, a measure that proponents argue would reduce traffic fatalities.

Senate Bill 62, introduced by state Sen. Joseph Keaveny, D-St. Louis, would increase the fine for the violation from $10 to $50. Getting caught without a seat belt would continue to be a secondary violation, meaning that officers cannot pull over drivers for that reason.

The Missouri Senate’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on the issue in the Capitol on Thursday. Similar legislation was tried each of the last three years, but didn’t make it through the legislature.

Col. Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said 63 percent of the total fatalities in 2011 were unbuckled drivers.

Fatalities increased last year, from 786 in Missouri in 2011 to 829 in 2012.

He said the state averages 75 percent usage, compared to an average of 83 percent nationally. Proponents believe increasing the seat belt fine will boost the Show Me State’s numbers closer to the national average.

“We think if we get it up there it could drop fatalities 100 a year,” Replogle told Missouri Watchdog.

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Johnny Kampis is a content editor at Watchdog.org, and is helping to start the organization’s Alabama Watchdog bureau in his home state. Johnny previously worked in the newspaper industry and as a freelance writer, and has been published in The New York Times, Time.com and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bridegansmith Roxanne Bridegan-Smith

    This whole law is a crock of crap and mandatory seatbelt use should be banned for adults. I say, I am a mature woman of rapidly advancing age and if I choose to drive without a seatbelt it is MY business and nobody else’s! I can see requiring it for children but if I don’t give a fig whether I go through the windshield, it shouldn’t matter to anyone else. This is NOT a measure to make the state safe, it is a way to strongarm more money out of the citizens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tarpeins R.a. Tarpein

    what happens roxanne because you like to be comfortable you loose control of your vehicle while trying to avoid a deer and after flying thru the windsheild yopur car continues into the path of my wifes oncoming car in the other lane killing her and my 14 year old daughter who were wearing their seat belts,,,but you aren’t killed,,what do you think my reaction is going to be because i was not injured. but seen what you had did

  • http://www.facebook.com/tarpeins R.a. Tarpein

    I think you had best rethink your driving habits without thinking of losing money from your pocket book because you donot want to obey the law