The Board of Alderman for the city of Grandview recently passed an ordinance making the city’s no seat belt law a primary offense, meaning it’s all the probable cause a police officer needs to initiate a traffic stop. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott talk with Grandview Police Officer Martin Studdard.
Press Release from the City of Grandview
Grandview, MO — Grandview Officers can now stop a motorist exclusively for not wearing a seat belt.
The City of Grandview Board of Aldermen has adopted a primary seat belt ordinance, and the fine for not wearing one will be $50.
“Fatalities and serious injuries increase when drivers and passengers do not use their seatbelts” Police Chief Charles Iseman said. “Over the past five years in our City the fatalities that did not involve pedestrians, 83% of the occupants were not wearing their seatbelts.”
Before passing the ordinance, Grandview had a secondary seat belt ordinance, which meant officers could only issue a ticket for not wearing a seat belt if they witnessed another traffic violation first, such as speeding.
The ordinance went in effect on July 9, but Grandview Police will initially just be issuing warnings. Grandview Officers will start issuing tickets in late August.
“It’s a proven fact that seat belts save lives,” said Alderman Jim Crain. “We are concerned about our citizen’s safety so we felt that a primary seat belt ordinance was more effective that a secondary violation law.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent death and serious injury. When seat belts are worn, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injuries is reduced by 50 percent. Approximately 12,546 lives were saved in 2010 as a result of wearing seat belts, NHTSA reported.
Grandview Aldermen are hoping to raise Grandview’s seat belt compliance rate through the new ordinance, and statistics prove that states with a primary seatbelt law benefit from a higher compliance rate. This past year Missouri witnessed an increase in traffic fatalities from 786 in 2011 to 829 in 2012. This is the first time in six years Missouri had an increase in the number of people killed in traffic crashes. Even more disheartening was the fact that 70.6% of the people killed were not wearing a seat belt.
A state or city averages between 11%-13% increase in seatbelt usage after converting to a primary seat belt law.