Governor Carnahan comes out in favor of stricter seat belt laws. Governor Carnahan wants to make the mandatory seat belt law a primary one. At present, it’s a secondary law, meaning police can ticket you for not buckling up, but only if they stop you for another violation. Carnahan expresses disappointment in figures showing only 60-percent of Missouri motorists wear seat belts. Research by the State Highway Patrol indicates the chance of injury and death decreases dramatically when seat belts are used. Patrol Superintendent Weldon Wilhoit does foresee troopers stopping motorists simply for not buckling up; saying safety is the patrol’s top priority. The state also would benefit financially. It can get more than a million dollars a year in federal grants IF it enacts a primary seat belt law AND it increases the percentage of motorists wearing seat belts.
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