Legislature OKs Tougher Seat Belt Bill

CHARLESTON (AP) – West Virginia police will soon be able to pull drivers over for not wearing a seat belt, after the state Senate passed a stricter seat belt law.

Seat belt use is already mandatory. But the new law makes it a primary offense, meaning a driver would not have to be stopped for another violation first.

The bill passed the Senate on a 24-10 vote Wednesday after contentious debate in the House and narrow passage two weeks ago.

The fine for failing to wear a seat belt would be $25, with no court costs or points on a driver’s license.

The state police and other supporters say the bill will increase seat belt use and save lives.

Opponents have said seat belt use is a matter of personal responsibility and freedom.