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Residents Have Different Opinions About Stricter Seat Belt Law
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on March 31, 2013 @ 9:34PM
Created on March 31, 2013 @ 8:31PM
Earlier this month, two children died in a car crash in Braxton County and neither were wearing seatbelts. That's just one instance that's driving the debate for stricter seatbelt laws in our state.

Last Thursday, the legislature narrowly passed a new law that will make not wearing a seat belt a primary offense. As it stands now, you have to be pulled over for some other reason before you can be cited for not wearing a seat belt.

Some delegates argue that police officers are already under-paid and should be spending their time catching serious criminals, rather than traffic violators. But others argued just the opposite after personal experiences of losing someone.

The debate is over whether or not the government is over stepping their boundaries on what some consider to be a personal choice.

Greg Graham of Harrison County said, "I'd say, leave it as a personal preference. I don't always wear mine. I don't think that someone should be able to tell you what you should and shouldn't do."

Some claim that public safety and family tragedies should be considered.

"I believe that it should be a law. But I think it would be difficult for them to enforce. To be able to see that you're not wearing a seat belt if you're just driving by," said Michelle Graham.

She added, "As a mother, If I was driving anybody else's children, I would make sure they were buckled up for safety. With it being a law, that's just going to make it a little bit easier for them to make the right decision."

Violators of the seatbelt law would only be made to pay a $25 fine for a first time offense.

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