BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Seat belts save lives but some people think they can do without them. A bill in Annapolis aims to fix that.
Rear passengers can be ticketed for not wearing seat belts, but only if the driver is pulled over for some other reason. The bill makes it a primary offense, meaning if a driver could be pulled over because his passenger isn’t buckled.
Think you’re safer riding in the backseat? Montgomery County Police Captain Thomas Didone’s son was sitting between two friends.
“My 15-year-old son died in a rear seat belt collision when he wasn’t wearing his seat belt in the backseat,” Didone said.
There’s an effort to lower the risk by upping the penalty for backseat riders who don’t buckle up.
“Many people think that it’s safe to ride in the backseat without being buckled up,” said Delegate Dana Stein, who sponsors the bill. “They don’t realize that in the event of an accident they could become a projectile.”
“You become that bullet in the backseat. You fly around like my son did, clashing heads, clashing into people,” Didone said.
“Everybody would be required to buckle up in every seat on every trip,” said Tara Gill of Advocates for Auto Safety.
The ticket for riding in the backseat without a seat belt goes to the passenger, not the driver.
AAA Mid Atlantic supports the bill.