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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 28, 2017 04:56 PM
From: Representative Stephen Kinsey
To: All House members
Subject: Seat Belt Violation as Primary Offense
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation making seat belt violations a primary offense. This change would allow police to stop and ticket a motorist if the driver and passengers are not buckled. Currently Pennsylvania is one of only 17 states that has what is known as a secondary seat belt law. Secondary belt laws allow police to issue a citation only if the driver is first stopped for something else.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), states with primary enforcement laws average 91 percent safety belt use while states with secondary enforcement laws average about 79 percent use. Each year about 43,000 people are killed in motor vehicle crashes. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for people under age 34 in the United States. The use of seat belts is considered to reduce the risk of serious injury or death by one-half.

Recently, Utah became the 34th state with primary enforcement laws. The other states with primary enforcement laws are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

I ask that you please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

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