Lawmakers could make it easier to ticket seat belt violators |

Lawmakers could make it easier to ticket seat belt violators

Associated Press Writer

DENVER ” Drivers who don’t wear their seat belts could be pulled over and ticketed under a change in the law being debated at the state Capitol.

Currently, police can only ticket people for not buckling up if they’ve been pulled over for another offense like speeding. House Bill 1138 would make not wearing a seat belt a primary offense and allow police to stop drivers simply for that reason.

It would also allow police to ticket drivers if children ages 4 to 6 weren’t in a booster seat or wearing a seat belt adapted for children.

The fine for not buckling up is $15 and $50 for not having a child properly restrained.

The bill has passed the House and senators almost gave initial approval Wednesday. However, the vote was delayed because lawmakers changed the bill to require law enforcement agencies to distribute information about seat belt extenders. Sen. Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins, who like many Republicans opposes the bill, said lawmakers should find out how much that would cost before voting.

“Why don’t they give out information about obesity? Why don’t they give out information about nutritious food in vending machines?”

Johnson said, mocking other Democratic bills introduced this session.

Sen. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, said he always requires his children to wear seat belts in the car but he said the rules about who has to wear a seat belt or be in a car seat have gotten too confusing that people may simply ignore them.

He read from a state statute book about the various requirements for children depending on their height and weight. Children under one and less than 20 lbs. must be in a rear facing seat and children between 1 and weighing between 20 and 40 lbs. should be in a forward facing seat.

“I don’t see a way for you to be a soccer mom and be in compliance with the law,” Lamborn said.

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