Bill To Increase Seat Belt Fine Advances In State Senate - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Bill To Increase Seat Belt Fine Advances In State Senate

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A proposal that would increase the fine for not wearing a seat belt by $40 has advanced in the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Senator Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro narrowly passed the Senate Transportation Committee 5-4 on Wednesday.

Currently the penalty for not wearing a seat belt is $10. Under this proposal, the fine would be $50. A second offense would cost $75.

Ketron said the measure is simply to encourage people to buckle up.

The companion bill was to be heard in the House Transportation Subcommittee later in the day.

Republican sponsor Representative Tony Shipley from Kingsport said there were 65,000 seatbelt violations in 2012. Officials also attributed 400 deaths to not wearing seatbelts last year.

"It is proven in studies across the United States that increasing the fine effects people's judgment on whether or not to wear a seatbelt," he said.

Shipley said he wanted to earmark the extra money generated by the extra fines to child advocacy groups who represent abused children in the courtroom.

(NewsChannel5 and The Associated Press.)

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