2013-05-16 / News

Not wearing seatbelt still primary offense

With the 2011 seatbelt law set to expire on June 30, the state House of Representatives last week voted to repeal the sunset provision so that failure to wear seatbelts by adults will remain a primary of­fense in Rhode Island.

Prior to enactment of the legis­lation, state law classified failure to wear seatbelts a secondary of­fense, and officers could cite seat­belt violations only if a primary offense had occurred such as run­ning a red light.

Under the primary seatbelt law, violators can face an $85 fine. The legislation also makes it clear that police cannot search a vehicle, driver or occupant of the vehicle that has been stopped for failure to wear a seatbelt unless they have committed another violation.

Rep. Deb Ruggiero, James­town’s delegate in the House, voted in the majority to repeal the sunset provision.

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