Source: CVDaily Feed

It would save money and it would save lives and those are two reasons a state lawmaker from Box Elder County wants to get a primary seat belt law passed during the upcoming session of the Utah Legislature.

Rep. Lee Perry, R-District 29, (who is also a Lieutenant section one commander with the Utah Highway Patrol) says there were 20 fatalities in the three county area last year and 17 were related to helmets or seat belts.

He says some of his constituents are pushing the bill because they lost loved ones in accidents where people didn’t have seat belts on. Perry says it is already against the law not to wear a seat belt, but you only get checked if stopped for another offense.

“It happens quite frequently,” Perry explains. “Officers out there seeing you speeding, making lane changes, they see you not wearing a seat belt they can make a traffic stop and write you a citation for the original offense but also write you a citation for not having a seat belt on at that point.

“What this would do is change that so we could be proactive in the approach. You look over, see someone not wearing a seat belt, you could pull them over right there on the spot. The benefit to that is if people think they could be stopped simply for not wearing a seat belt they are more likely to put it on.”

Perry says that other states in the country have proven that with a similar law people are more likely to wear their seat belts more regularly.

“Every state that has a primary seat belt law in the nation has a 10-12% higher seat belt usage rate than those who are secondary.”

Rep. Perry says it is estimated that between 35 and 45 lives would be saved the first year after a primary seat belt law was passed.