Mandatory Seat Belt Bills Clear Virginia Senate

The Virginia Senate has passed a bill to allow police to pull over and ticket drivers for not wearing a seat belt.

The bill passed 24-16 Wednesday and heads to the House, where similar efforts have died in past years.

Currently, police can only issue tickets for not wearing seat belts if the driver is pulled over for some other traffic violation. This bill would allow a ticket for anyone in the front seat not wearing a seat belt.

Republican Sen. Thomas Norment of James City proposed a less strict measure, something he dubbed the “dumb driver bill.” It would allow police to ticket those stopped at traffic safety checkpoints who are not wearing a seat belt.

Norment’s proposal passed on a 26-14 vote.