Effective June 30, 2009 a major change in the Florida Safety Belt Law (FS 316.614) will take place. The change in the law will allow law enforcement to enforce safety belt violations as a primary offense (pulling people over when an officer notices an unbelted person). Prior to the change drivers and passengers could only be cited for safety belt violations if they had been stopped for another offense. Effective June 30, 2009 vehicles can be stopped for safety belt violations alone.
The Titusville Police Department recognizes the important role safety belts play in saving lives and preventing serious injuries during vehicle crashes. Quarterly surveys conducted in the city show an average safety belt compliance rate of drivers at 75%. “We would like to see a higher compliance rate as a result of this new law” said Major Doug Massey, who oversees the Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit. “Our zero tolerance approach to seatbelt violations is about saving lives”, he added.
In the past two years, Titusville Police experienced two separate fatality crashes that involved driver’s who were not buckled up. Investigators concluded that both driver’s would likely have survived with minimal injury had they been wearing seatbelts.
The Titusville Police Department is hopeful the change in the law and the way the law can be enforced will result in a significant reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes.
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