Tennessee Senate Panel Advances Seat Belt Fine Increase

A proposal that would increase the fine for not wearing a seat belt by $40 is advancing in the Tennessee Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro narrowly passed the Senate Transportation Committee 5-4 this week. The companion bill was to be heard in the House Transportation Subcommittee later in the day.

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

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

However, Republican Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains said “these are hard times” and people shouldn’t be fined if they don’t want to wear a seat belt.