Toughening VA's Seat Belt Law

A Senate committee has endorsed legislation to toughen Virginia's seat belt law.

Senator Patricia Ticer's bill lets police stop and ticket drivers for failing to buckle up. Under current law, you can get a ticket only if police stop you for another violation and see you aren't buckled.

Similar bills have died in the past in a House committee. State Police Capt. Steve Chumley says he hopes last year's increase in traffic fatalities will change opponents' minds. Traffic deaths in Virginia last year exceeded 1,000 for the first time since 1990.

But Jim Kadison of the National Motorists Association says people who don't buckle up risk only their own lives, and that should be their choice.


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