A bill pending before the Virginia state senate would toughen the commonwealth’s seat belt law by making failure to wear them a primary offense. A similar bill is being considered by a committee in the House of Delegates.

Under current Virginia law, not wearing your seat belt is considered a secondary offense. As the Tidewater News explains, “police may cite you for a seat-belt violation only if they see you committing another offense, such as speeding or running a red light.” The proposed legislation would allow the police to pull over a motorist merely solely for failing to buckle up.

According the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Harry B. Blevins, (R-Chesapeake), 60 percent of Virginia auto fatalities in 2007 and 2008 involved victims who did not wear seat belts. According to DailyPress.com, Sen. Blevins suggested that the bill is necessary because the law would “command more respect among teenage drivers than the simple admonition of their parents to buckle up.” He added that “I think we have an obligation to do something about the loss of life.” The senator’s counterpart in the House, Delegate William K. (Barlow, D-Smithfield), told the Tidewater News that that “a lot of people have health problems because of car accidents. It is a major health concern. If people were wearing a seat belt, it would cut down on those injuries.”

Most Virginians fortunately do wear their seat belts, and with the proper use of these restrains you are 40% less likely to be fatally injured during a crash, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Virginia law requires seat belt use for drivers and front seat passengers over age 16, but the DMV recommends that all passengers in a vehicle should be properly buckled up whether they are in the front seat or the back.

When it comes to harm suffered in collisions on Virginia roads, the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, P.C. stands ready to represent victims of serious personal injury. If you have been involved in a Virginia car accident, contact the firm for a no-obligation consultation, Toll Free 877-544-5323.


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