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It is an irrefutable fact: seat belts save lives and prevent maiming injuries. It is why KSL over the years has consistently encouraged seat belt use, while supporting efforts to strengthen Utah’s seat belt laws. And it is why we urge lawmakers this year to approve Senate Bill 109, a measure that would make not wearing a seat belt a primary offense for adults.
As it now stands, seat belt use in Utah is mandatory, even for adults. However, law enforcement is only allowed to ticket an adult violator for not wearing a seat belt if the vehicle is stopped for another reason. Senate Bill 109 would make it a primary offense, meaning a vehicle could be stopped and the occupants cited solely because they are not using seat belts. The intent is not to reduce freedom, harass motorists, or generate funds for government coffers through fines. Rather, the sole purpose of a primary seat belt law is to protect people.
For the same reason, there are laws that require motorists to stop at stop signs, drive within posted speed limits and observe a host of other requirements. It’s a simple matter, really, that polls repeatedly say the public supports. It’s a law that should be on the books.