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Politics

Lawmakers Consider Toughen Seat Belt Laws

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/lawmakersc_560.mp3

Lawmakers consider giving police officers the authority to pull drivers over for failing to wear a seat belt. Missy Shelton reports.

Right now, Missouri law requires everyone to buckle up.

But cops can't pull you over JUST because the adults in a car aren't wearing seat belts.

Public safety advocates are pushing a bill that would change that.

Richard Healing serves on the National Transportation Safety Board.

He urged a senate committee to give law enforcement the power to pull over drivers who aren't wearing seat belts.

He says doing that will save lives.

Healing also told the Senate Transportation Committee that the public has a financial interest in making sure people buckle up.

But some lawmakers say you can't put a price on personal freedom...They argue individuals should have the right to decide whether or not they put on a seat belt.

Some lawmakers say they also fear the proposal would give too much power to cops.

But the bill sponsor, Republican senator Jon Dolan says his proposal has safeguards.

The measure is up for consideration in a senate committee.