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House committee votes to drop seat belt requirement for people over 18


A North Dakota House Committee has voted to recommend a bill that would repeal the requirement that drivers over the age of 18 have to buckle up.

The vote in the House Transportation Committee was 8 to 6.

The bill's sponsor -- Rep. Jeff Magrum (R-Hazelton) told the committee the bill is about freedom.

"Seems like the liberty-minded indivuals are always playing defense, and trying to stop the do-gooders who want to save us from ourselves," Magrum said. "Yes, we can all agree that seat belts are good, but so is freedom."

North Dakota Transportation Department Safety Division Director Karin Mongeon told the Committee seat belts are the single-most effective traffic safety device to prevent death and injury in a motor vehicle.

"There is no doubt that removing the requirement for adults would result in an increase in motor vehicle crash deaths across the state," Mongeon said.

The bill now goes to the House floor.

Not wearing your seat belt is a "secondary offense," meaning you have to be stopped for another violation before additional fines are added. The state Senate has passed a bill that makes not wearing your seat belt a primary offense.

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