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Stricter seat belt law up for W.Va. House vote

Mar. 28, 2013 @ 12:56 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The House of Delegates is deciding whether drivers can be pulled over in West Virginia for not wearing a seat belt.

A bill making that violation a primary offense is up for a Thursday vote.

Thirty-one states now treat failure to wear a seat belt as a primary offense, triggering a traffic stop.

Not wearing a seat belt in West Virginia is now secondary offense. That means a driver must be pulled over for some other violation to be cited.

The House Judiciary Committee endorsed the bill earlier this month, but only by 13-11.

Opponents argue seat belt use is a matter of personal responsibility. Supporters estimate it would boost seat belt use by up to 7 percent.

The Senate has supported such legislation in past sessions.

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