Tuesday, April 27, 2010

House passes Sen. Thomas’ Seat Belt Legislation

Bill saves Lives and Taxpayer Money
The House of Representatives voted to save Georgians’ lives today by passing Senate Bill 458, Sen. Thomas’ (R-Dalton) seat belt legislation, which closes the pick-up truck loophole in current seat belt laws. The bill passed with a vote of 132-29.

“This legislation is a long overdue, life-saving step for all Georgians,” said Thomas. “I am thankful we could all work together to ensure the passage of legislation that will prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries while saving money.”

In Georgia alone, over 67 percent of pick-up truck related deaths came from those not wearing a seat belt. Closing the pickup truck loophole will save Georgians $25 million in Medicaid costs over a 10-year period. Additionally, Georgia will become eligible for federal incentive grants from the Traffic Safety Institute once this legislation is passed.

Current law requires each occupant of the front seat of a car, van, or SUV to be restrained by a seatbelt. This legislation redefines the term “passenger vehicle,” requiring all passengers in the front seat of a pickup truck are restrained by a seatbelt. The bill exempts off-road and pick-up trucks involved in agricultural operations.
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