TOPEKA – Kansans who don't buckle up after July 1 could be pulled over by law enforcement and eventually face a $10 fine under a bill on its way to the governor's desk.
While Kansas already required adults in the front seat of a vehicle to wear seat belts, it is a secondary offence – only ticketable if the driver is stopped for another violation.
For several years, supporters have pushed for the change arguing it will make drivers safer and help the state access $11 million from the federal government.
House Bill 2130 passed 68-55 on Tuesday, Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, has pushed for a primary seat belt law and is expected to sign the bill.
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"Many families' lives have been change because they forgot to put their seat belt on," said Rep. Jerry Henry, D-Cummings.
Until July 1, 2011 – officers will hand out warnings to drivers pulled over for not wearing their seat belts. After that the fine will be $5 and after a year that will increase to $10.
The $10 fine was the minimum amount that would allow Kansas to qualify to receive and additional $465,000 in safety grants after they have received the initial $11 million.
"The $10 fine is secondary to what will happen here today, in that we will save many lives," Henry said.
Not everyone liked the idea of allowing police officers to pull people over for not buckling up.
"What I fear here is that in our need for funds we are one more time selling our freedom for $10 million and that disturbs me very much," said Rep. Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe.