Primary seat belt law proposed | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Primary seat belt law proposed

Jan 13, 2021

A Legislative committee will be hearing a bill to make not wearing your seat belt a primary offense.

Right now, it’s a secondary offense – meaning you have to be pulled over for another reason.

The Legislature has in the past rejected several attempts to make it a primary offense.

The measure raises the fine from $20 to $50. It will also require all passengers to be buckled up. The law now requires front seat passengers to wear the belts.

"The bottom line -- we're trying to reduce the number of fatalities on our roads," said the main sponsor, Sen. Brad Bekkedahl (R-Williston).

Bekkedahl said it is the number one issue when it comes to traffic fatalities.

"What weve found is not wearing your seat belt is the number one factor in motor vehicle crash deaths in North Dakota," Bekkedahl said. "Sixty-four percent of the fatalities from last year were people not wearing a seat belt."

Bekkedahl said in Minnesota, fatalities dropped 16 percent after that state made not buckling up a primary offense.

The hearing is scheduled Friday morning in the Senate Transportation Committee.