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Should Massachusetts Have Tougher Seat Belt Laws?

Massachusetts Legislation written in Boston is attempting to make seat belt violations a primary offense. Most recently, Massachusetts state Senator Patricia Jehlen, D-Somerville, reintroduced the measure this year. But the bill has yet to advance beyond the Joint Public Safety Committee. The Boston attorneys at the Law Office of Neil Burns want Boston and Massachusetts residents to practice safe driving methods, and avoid serious personal injury and auto accident injuries.

The law in Massachusetts today requires that drivers, passengers and children wear seat belts. As many students of this law know, a police officer cannot pull you over simply for failure to wear seat belts. (The exception to this is if they do a traffic stop of EVERYONE, in that case, then can pull you over and fine you for failure to wear a seat belt.) Surveys of other states show that when police have the right to pull people over simply for seat belt violations, the rate of use goes up 10-12%.
 
Many groups such as the National Motorists Association and the ACLU are opposed to such “violations” of liberty. As consumer safety advocates, we urge our clients to wear seat belts. We see all too often when our clients are victims – they are thrown from vehicles or thrown about inside vehicles much more severely than they would with a seat belt. We remind clients that in the luxury vehicle that Princess Di was in, three of the four occupants died: they were not wearing seat belts. The bodyguard, who put on his seat belt during the high speed chase with the media, survived!
 
Wear your seat belt. You may not be royalty, but you will have a better change of surviving a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts.