Lawmakers consider $50 fine for motorists, passengers who don’t wear a seatbelt

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BOSTON (WWLP) – Click it or fine? A new bill on Beacon Hill would charge drivers for not buckling up.

According to AAA, the Commonwealth’s seatbelt use rate is down 4 percent due to COVID-19 and now, lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands to keep drivers safe. House Bill 25-15 would allow law enforcement officers to pull someone over for not wearing their seatbelt and violators could then be slapped with a $50 fine.

Supporters of the new primary seatbelt proposal say this move alone could save dozens of lives each year.

“A Burlington police officer last session noted that he had never unbuckled a dead person from a motor vehicle crash scene,” Rep. Jeffery Roy said.

Opponents of the bill worry that it will increase instances of racial bias by police officers. Committee members told 22News that they not taking those concerns lightly.

“We have to make sure enforcement is done in an equitable way,” Rep. Carlos Gonzalez said.

The seatbelt violation would apply to both drivers and passengers. An additional 50 dollar fine would be added if someone under 16 is not wearing their seatbelt. Now if the bill passes this session violators wouldn’t see a surcharge on their insurance, nor would a police officer be allowed to search their car for the seatbelt violation alone.

22News will keep a close eye on this bill and provide you with updates as soon as they are available.



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