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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Council Votes No on Primary Seat Belt Ordinance UPDATED: Washington, Mo. Considers New Seat Belt Law

Council Votes No on Primary Seat Belt Ordinance

by dfox
www.klpw.com
August 25, 2011

There will not be a primary seatbelt law in the city of Washington. Police Chief Ken Hahn says the city council voted 5-2 against the proposal to draft an ordinance on the law.
Hahn believes the generally feeling was that council members didn't want local governments or more regulation telling private citizens what they can and cannot do.
If the ordinance had been written and passed, it would have allowed police to stop motorists for failing to wear a seatbelt. Hahn says the secondary seatbelt law will remain in effect which allows officers to issue citations for the violation, but only if the motorist is pulled over for another offense.


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Council Opens Debate on Local Seat Belt Law

By Paul Hackbarth, Missourian Staff Writer
July 27, 2011 
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A city councilman Monday night spoke out against enacting a local primary seat belt law in Washington, saying cell phones pose more of a threat to drivers.
Councilman Walt Meyer opposed the suggestion to adopt a local ordinance of the law during the administration/operations committee meeting.
He also spoke against the proposed local ordinance during Monday morning’s meeting of the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee which last recommended the council pass such a regulation.
While committee members agreed that cell phone use while driving is a safety issue, they did not retract their endorsement of adopting a primary seat belt law.
Meyer, along with Jeff Mohesky, voted against forwarding the issue onto the next council meeting for final action.
Carolyn Witt, Tim Brinker, Joe Holtmeier, Mark Hidritch and Steve Sullentrup voted in favor of discussing the issue at the Aug. 1 meeting. Connie Groff was absent.
Missouri currently has a secondary seat belt law, meaning that a police officer can issue citations for not wearing seat belts only when a vehicle is stopped for another violation. The fine is $10 and no court costs are assessed.
A primary law, however, would allow officers to issue tickets if they observe a driver or occupants of a vehicle not wearing seat belts.

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