BISMARCK, N.D. (GPN) – A proposal to toughen North Dakota’s seat belt law has been beaten in the state House.
The bill would have allowed police to pull over motorists if they were seen driving without a seat belt. Representatives voted 52-40 on Thursday to reject the proposal.
Right now, North Dakota’s seat-belt law can only be enforced if a driver is pulled over for another traffic violation, such as speeding or running a stop sign.
Thursday’s House bill was a “primary enforcement” law, meaning police could pull over motorists just if they spotted a seat-belt violation.
Hurdsfield Rep. Robin Weisz says the bill would allow police to stop drivers for something that is not a threat to public safety.
(AUDIO: Robin Weisz1, 14 seconds, “What we’re doing … initial stop.”)
(AUDIO: Robin Weisz2, 16 seconds, “We have to … county highways.”)
Bismarck Rep. Rick Becker says the bill would put government in the role of making someone’s health decisions.
(AUDIO: Rick Becker1, 13 seconds, “It’s important … comes to health.”)
Supporters of the bill say it could prevent injuries and help police spot people who are driving under the influence.
Grand Forks Rep. Mark Owens says failing to wear a seat belt is not a victimless crime.
(AUDIO: Mark Owens1, 7 seconds, “It’s not victimless … by us all.”)
(AUDIO: Mark Owens2, “Allowing law enforcement … under that category.”)
The bill was HB1335.