Grass Roots
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Utah GrassRoots 2015 Legislative Report Addendum—HB79

<< 2015 Annual Report

HB79, “Safety Belt Law Amendments”, sponsored by Representative Perry and Senator Bramble:

  • amends the provision that provides that a state or local law enforcement officer may only enforce the safety belt restraint requirement as a secondary action in certain circumstances to only apply beginning on July 1st, 2018—this means that, until July 1st, 2018, enforcement of the safety belt restraint requirement would become sufficient reason for a police officer to pull anyone over;
  • provides that until July 1st, 2018, a peace officer may not issue a citation to an individual for a violation if the person has not previously been warned for a violation but shall issue the individual a warning; and
  • amends the requirements for the court to waive the fine for a safety belt violation, so that an “offender” may escape the prescribed fine by completing a 30-minute course on the benefits of safety belt and child-restraint use (the current requirement in code is to attend a 2-hour course).

HB79 would appear to make the penalties for violation of seat belt code a bit less burdensome, which looks good (though maybe only temporarily). Still, seat belt enforcement is not a good reason for a police officer to pull a driver over. GrassRoots favors a “no” vote on HB79.

HB79 passed the House of Representatives 41-32 on February 17th, and the Senate 17-11 on March 10th, and was signed by the Governor.

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