BOSTON (CBS) — About 75 percent of Massachusetts drivers do not buckle up on a regular basis, according to AAA Northeast.
That’s why AAA supports a Primary Seatbelt Bill that is going before the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security on Tuesday.
It would make wearing a seatbelt mandatory in Massachusetts. Currently, police cannot pull drivers over solely for not wearing a seatbelt.
Mary Maguire of AAA said the law would save Massachusetts lives and money.
“We would be able to save more than 12 lives every single year here in Massachusetts and prevent almost 500 life-altering, effectively life-ending injuries that not only cause a tremendous amount of human suffering but take a tremendous financial toll on the Commonwealth,” Maguire told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
“We actually have one of the lowest seatbelt rates in the nation here in Mass., in fact, in the last several years, we have either been at the very bottom of the list of 50 states for usage or in the bottom five,” she said.
Thirty-four states already have a primary seatbelt law. When those states first enforced the law, they saw at least ten percent more people used a seatbelt all of the time, said Maguire.
If the bill passes, anyone who is pulled over and found to not be wearing a seatbelt could be fined 50 dollars.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports
More than one bill focused on seatbelts Tuesday. Another was an act to require all schools buses are equipped with seatbelts.
Six states require seatbelts on school buses. Massachusetts is not one of them.
Catherine Rollins from Mayor Walsh’s Office highlighted positive results in Austraila.
“They did a ten-year look back, they found that there was not one fatality or disabling injury to a student involved in a school bus crash that have on a seatbelt,” she said.
State Representative Joesph McGonagle said, “I’m just shocked that it hasn’t happened for many years.”