KNOXVILLE (WATE) – For the first time in years, the penalty for not wearing your seat belt in Tennessee is set to increase.
The fine will increase from $10 to $25 for first time offenders if a new bill is passed. Governor Bill Haslam is expected to sign the new fines into law in the next couple weeks.
Tennessee Highway Patrol said they home the increase in fines will reduce traffic deaths in Tennessee. Three hundred people were killed and more than 4,000 people were injured in 2014 because they did not wear a seat-belt, according to THP.
Kezia Wyatt said she doesn’t mind an increased fine. “I’m all for it,” she said. “They need to learn, if they don’t learn they are going to get fined.”
The Knoxville teenager said she she always wear a seatbelt. “I don’t know what’s going to happen when I’m driving,” said Kezie Wyatt. “There’s going to be a different situation everyday no matter if you make the trip one hundred times or one time a day.”
Her mother Keira Wyatt said she is also for the increase. She believes it will save lives and positively affect driver behavior. “I think it’s fair because when my children go out in the car, I want them to be safe. I want them to take every precaution there is to protect themselves and the lives of other people on the road.”