The Florida legislature agreed on a bill that would allow law enforcement to pull over drivers for not wearing a seatbelt. Charlie Crist has said that he will sign the bill into law. This law will applies to the driver and front seat passenger. Under the current law, law enforcement can give a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt but only if the driver was pulled over for another traffic citation.
There are mixed views on the new bill. Some believe that a government policy that saves lives and reduces medical expenses that Florida tax payers end up funding is a good thing. The opposing view is that government should not have this amount of control in private citizens lives. Some believe that it is not the governments function to force us to wear seatbelts.
The bill has failed in past years. The real reason this bill may be going through now is money. The bill makes Florida eligible for a one time $35.5 million traffic safety grant from the federal government. This is coincidently the last year to qualify. With the state issuing 224,000 seatbelt citations last year, the additional revenue this law may generate could be substantial.
It is estimated that the bill will save 124 lives and revent 1,733 serious injuries each year in Florida. The tickets could range from $93 to $119. So buckle up Florida.