MoDot Wants New Seat Belt Law

1 decade 1 week 4 days ago November 21, 2006 Nov 21, 2006 Tuesday, November 21 2006 Tuesday, November 21, 2006 11:28:44 AM CST in News

"And because I was not wearing my seatbelt my car flipped, I was ejected and paralyzed instantly."

Russ Burris knows why it's important to wear a seatbelt. He was paralyzed after an accident in 1990. He wasn't buckled in.

"What people don't seem to understand is when they're injured or killed in a car crash especially one that if they were wearing their seatbelt could have saved their life. Their family is the ones who are living with that anguish. That pain, here's something that could have been prevented" Burris, a think first consultant said.

MO-DOT director Pete Rahn agrees and wants the Missouri legislature to create a primary seat belt law. Meaning police could pull drivers over just for not wearing one.

"The law enforcement can enforce the law that requires you to wear a seat-belt," said MO-DOT director Pete Rahn.

Statistics show 25% of Missourians don't wear seat-belts.

The law would save the state $231-million in seat-belt related accident costs.

The state would earn $18-million in federal funds.

If the statistics don't make a point, Burris hopes he can be used as an example.

"Wear your seatbelt and obey the traffic laws. Take a few extra seconds to make sure you get their safely instead of quickly," Burris said.

Mo-DOT says it's primary legislative goal for 2007 is to get a primary seatbelt law enacted.

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