Not wearing seat belt could lead to getting stopped by police
DENVER – Drivers could be pulled over for not wearing their seat belts under a measure given final approval by the state Senate on Tuesday.Senators backed the proposal (Senate Bill 151) in a 18-16 vote and sent it to the House, where it died last year amid fears of racial profiling.Sens. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, and Ron Tupa, D-Boulder, both said the state shouldn’t give police another reason to pull drivers over. Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, the former Fountain police chief, told lawmakers that routine traffic stops can sometimes lead to big breaks, pointing out that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was arrested that way.Under current state law, failure to buckle up is a secondary offense, meaning officers can cite drivers only if they’ve been stopped for some other reason. Colorado could pick up a $12 million federal grant if it joins the 25 other states who have made it a primary offense.The bill would also raise the fine for not wearing a seat belt from $15 to $25. Tupa said raising the fine alone would encourage people to buckle up and was a better alternative to giving police more power.
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