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Safety Experts Prepare for Battle Over Seat Belt Laws

Safety Experts Prepare for Battle Over Seat Belt Laws

Updated - Jan. 27, 2003 at 12:56 p.m. | Posted - Jan. 27, 2003 at 12:55 p.m.

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(Salt Lake City, KSL News) -- Traffic safety advocates are preparing for a fight after a piece of seat belt legislation was altered last week to the point of dismantling the law altogether.

At the Capitol, police officers, emergency room doctors and Triple-A of Utah joined forces to push four proposals to tighten seat belt laws and, they say, save lives.

All are upset over what happened to one of those bills in a House committee last week.

Those amendments neutralized the seat belt law, because one lawmaker says 'common sense' shouldn't require a law.

"I have yet to have a parent say to me, 'thank goodness I didn't have my child in a seat belt. Boy, I'm sure glad I have that freedom. Thank goodness my family is disrupted now because I had a chance to exhibit common sense,'" says Jeff Schunk, an emergency room doctor.

Representative Chad Bennion, R-Murray, who proposed the changes to the bill, stands by his idea of protecting common sense -- not legislating it.


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