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Seat belt bill goes to Tomblin for action

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The West Virginia Legislature has taken another step to try to keep drivers safer.

The Senate passed House Bill 2108 April 10 by a bipartisan vote of 24 to 10.

The bill will make the failure to wear a seat belt a primary traffic offense, which means a person could be pulled over and cited just for that, whereas current law ranks it as a secondary offense, which means a driver could only be stopped and cited for breaking another traffic law first.

The bill will now go to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for action.

Sen. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, told lawmakers 32 other states have moved seat belt use to a primary offense. The bill also adjusts the fee for breaking the law to a flat $25, and it does not include court costs or other fees.

The House of Delegates passed the bill March 28 by a vote of 55 to 44 after 20 years of taking up the bill only to see it fail.