Legislator pushes for seat belt fine raise again

Dec 12, 2012

Soon, it might cost you $50 for not wearing your seat belt.
Credit Benjamin Goodger / Flickr

A St. Louis legislator plans to try again to get seat belt fines raised in Missouri.  Democratic Sen. Joe Keaveny’s  bill would increase the current fine of $10 to $50, and apply it to everyone in the front seat of a vehicle. 

Keaveny has sponsored the bill each year he’s been in the State Senate, and each year it’s gone nowhere.  He says this time around he hopes lawmakers will consider the number of teenagers who’ve died because they didn’t buckle up:

“In the past three years alone, 354 teenagers have died in Missouri traffic deaths," he says. "Seventy-five percent weren’t buckled up. And for a teenager, $50 is a lot of money. If I could get them to comply with the law, hopefully, it would bring up the rate for the entire state.”

Opponents say seat belt use should be a personal choice, not forced on them by state law.   The 2013 legislative session begins next month.