AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – There’s a push in the state legislature to draft a bill that would create a primary seat belt law in Massachusetts. It would mean that police officers would be able to pull you over and ticket you solely for not wearing your seat belt.
‘Click It Or Ticket.’ Most of us have heard the slogan, but it’s not quite accurate. Massachusetts is 1 of only 16 states that does not have a primary seat belt law. Which means being pulled over just for not wearing one. That is unless you have a passenger under the age of 13.
Police say they would support changing the law. “Its a great idea. There is no better place for an occupant who’s in a motor vehicle collision to be, than securely fastened in their seat. As someone who’s investigated a lot of accidents, I can tell you they prevent far more injuries than wearing them will cause,” said Sgt. Bob Powers of the Northampton Police Department.
It’s something that Linda Fontaine knows all too well. A seat belt may have saved her from injury. She told 22News, “I got hurt and I had at least five or six EMTs asking me did you have a seat belt on? I said no. Ever since then I’ve been wearing one.”
The way the law is written now, a police officer would need another reason to pull you over. Like a headlight out. Then, you could be ticketed $25.
Jaclyn Driecer told 22News she doesn’t know how much good the law would do. “I’m not sure how much of an impression it would give to make someone whose consistently not wearing a seat belt change things.”
However, others like Faye Sayer from England say that across the pond, it’s a law she supports. “We have to wear seat belts. Even your passenger has to wear a seat belt. If you don’t you don’t you get pulled over, fined, you can be taken to court. I do think its a good law.”
The state Senate’s Public Safety Committee is working on the bill. They were scheduled to provide a report on the bill Thursday.
For information on highway safety, please visit www.mass.gov/highwaysafety