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Conservatives push back against seat belt law

Published February 25, 2013 5:58 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Conservative lawmakers resisted a bill Monday that would allow law enforcement to write a ticket to a driver not wearing a seat belt on roads where the speed limit is over 55 miles per hour.

"I see this as another instance of creeping incrementalism that will go toward violating our personal rights," said Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville.

SB114 narrowly survived a preliminary vote by a margin of 15-14 and could be up for final passage later this week.

Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City, the bill's sponsor, said the measure is supported by law enforcement and "is good public policy to reduce fatalities on our freeways."

Currently, a driver can be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt, but only if the officer stops the car for some other moving offense. SB114 would make not wearing a seat belt a reason for the police to stop the driver.