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Seat Belt Enforcement Law Back in Legislature

Seat Belt Enforcement Law Back in Legislature

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A state senator has revived a bill that would make it easier for police to pull over drivers for not wearing their seat belts.

It's Sen. Karen Hale's third attempt at the measure, which passed the Senate last year but was killed by House leadership.

On Tuesday, the Senate transportation committee voted 4-1 to send the bill to the full Senate, where the Salt Lake City Democrat expects lively debate.

Hale's bill would enable police to pull over and ticket people simply for not wearing their seat belts. In Utah, only drivers under 18 can currently be pulled over for not being buckled up -- everyone else must commit another infraction in order to be stopped, and can then be ticketed for failing to wear a seat belt.

Hale said she's not sure if the bill will have enough new support in the Legislature to pass -- but it has broad public approval.

A Salt Lake Tribune poll taken earlier this month showed two of three Utah residents support a seat belt law.

Opposing lawmakers say the measure is an unneeded government intrusion into a personal choice.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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