The Florida legislature has passed a bill that allows law enforcement officers to stop drivers and cite them for not wearing a seat belt.
Florida?s seat belt enforcement is currently a ?secondary? offense law. That means an adult driver must be pulled over for some other offense, like speeding, before they can be cited for not wearing a seat belt.
On April 29th, by a 95-20 vote, the House approved a bill that makes the seat belt law a ?primary? offense. The Florida Senate passed the same bill, 33-4.
Gov. Charlie Crist’s office said that he supports the legislation and will sign it.
Supporters of the bill have said their main motive is public safety. Backers of primary enforcement cite statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board that estimates the bill could save 124 lives and prevent 1,700 injuries each year.
Changing the law will also bring in about $35 million in federal funding this year. The federal government offered this money as an incentive to states if they changed their seat belt laws to primary enforcement.