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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 19, 2019 04:07 PM
From: Representative Maria P. Donatucci
To: All House members
Subject: Making Highway Seat Belt Violations a Primary Offense
Although most Pennsylvanians wear seat belts, there are still many who don’t, despite common knowledge that seat belts save lives. In 2017, more than half of the people killed in car crashes on Commonwealth roads were not wearing their seat belt.

While a crash can result in a fatality at almost any speed on any road, people who travel on highways at higher speeds are at a greater risk when they neglect to wear a seat belt. In an effort to encourage Pennsylvania drivers to buckle up when traveling on these roads, I am introducing legislation that will increase a seatbelt violation from a secondary to a primary offense when it occurs on a highway. Upon conviction, this violation will be punishable by a fine of $75.

Research has shown that primary offense laws make a difference in getting more people to use their seat belts and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation estimates a significant reduction – over 50% – in the amount of fatalities from car crashes if every passenger used these restraint systems.

Please join me in supporting this important and life-saving legislation.

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Introduced as HB997