Proposed bill would increase seatbelt violation fine

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

A Tennessee lawmaker is sponsoring a bill to increase the penalty for seatbelt violations.

Representative Tony Shipley of Kingsport said there were 65,000 seatbelt violations in the state last year.

There were more than 1,000 fatalities on Tennessee highways and law enforcement attributed more than 400 of those deaths to not buckling up.

“This is a public safety issue,” Shipley told Nashville's News 2.

The current fine is $10 for not wearing a seatbelt. The bill would increase it to $50 for a first offense and $75 for a second offense.

“The thought process was let's increase the penalty and cause people to take a pause and let them know the state is serious about this issue,” said Shipley.

Driver Kathryne Scates supports the bill.

“If it helps to save a life, then who can complain about that?” she asked.

Money generated by the fines would go to programs that help abused children.

The first vote on the bill could come next week.

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