Proposed Wyoming Law Would Allow Traffic Stops for Non Seat Belt Use; Substantially Increase Fines
A bill before the Wyoming Legislature would allow law enforcement to stop motorists for not wearing their seat belt.
Currently, state law prevents police from stopping motorists solely for not wearing a safety belt, but Senate File 51 would change that if passed.
The law made it out of committee late last month.
Additionally, the proposed law would increase fines by at least four times.
Currently, the maximum fine in Wyoming for a driver not wearing a seat belt is $25. However, the proposed law would increase the fine to at minimum $100 and at most $200.
Wyoming Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeremy Beck told Townsquare of Cheyenne that the law would persuade motorists to buckle up.
"If they were to have a law that passed that way, I would imagine a motorist would be a little bit more tentative to making sure they are buckled up," Beck said.
SF 51 is sponsored by the Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Interim Committee.
It passed out of committee on January 27 with three senators voting in favor, one against and one absent.
In order to become law, the legislation must pass three readings on the Senate Floor before moving to the House. Should it make it out of the House, it would need Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon's signature.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Wyoming eclipses the national average for seat belt deaths.
Additionally, nationwide, 86% of adults report wearing seat belts, vs 77% in Wyoming.