Seat Belt Safety Laws Analyzed by Senate Study Committee
GEORGIA – According to an online news report at suwanneedemocrat.com, the Senate Study Committee on Passenger Vehicle Seat Safety Belts convened to examine existing passenger safety laws and to take measures to impose a requirement for the usage of seat belts in the rear of vehicles.*
The leader of the initiative is State Senator Tonya Anderson, D-Lithonia. She is attempting to fill in the legal gap in Georgia for rear-seat passengers to wear their seat belts. “To find this loophole and to bring it in front of the general assembly is in the interest of public safety and saving lives,” the senator said.
Georgia is one of 20 states that does not require rear-seat passengers to wear their seat belts. Per the director of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, nearly 50% of individuals who perish in vehicular accidents were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. He notes that just because you are in the back of a vehicle does not mean that you are safer than in the front of the vehicle.
The rates of insurance in Georgia have skyrocketed due to the significant amount of automobile accidents in the state. They are especially prevalent in metropolitan areas. In fact, Georgia is ranked in the top five states across the country to have the greatest number of vehicular accidents.
Without a change to the law, the director of the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety notes that the state could lose as much as $1.5 million in funding from the federal government for not complying with rules governing seat belt use issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Several individuals assert that the law will likely not change people’s habits when it comes to seat belt use. This is because, despite Georgia’s Hands-Free Law, people still use their cellphones when behind the wheel.
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