AIA Urges Senate Committee Approval of Primary Seat Belt Law Incentive

April 18, 2005

The American Insurance Association (AIA) is urging Senate Finance Committee approval of its portion of the Surface Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2005 on April 19 so that Congress can continue moving the nation toward safer roadways.

“We commend last week’s Senate Commerce Committee action to approve its portion of the legislation,” said Melissa Shelk, AIA vice president, federal affairs. “Increasing safety on our roads has always been an AIA priority.”

Among key provisions of the bill is an incentive for states to adopt primary seat belt laws, which allow law enforcement officials to stop motorists for the sole reason of not wearing a seat belt, even if no other traffic violation has occurred. “Providing this incentive program will encourage states that have not yet enacted a primary seat belt program to do so,” Shelk said.

After the Finance Committee acts, its segment of the bill will be combined with portions already approved by the Senate Committees on Environment and Public Works, and Banking and Commerce for Senate floor consideration. If approved, the Senate version will go to a conference committee with the House version, which differs.

“In the past, congressional leadership has been essential in producing progress in highway safety. This bipartisan legislation should help us move beyond the plateau of recent years to significant improvements,” said David Snyder, AIA vice president and assistant general counsel.

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