Florida Seat Belt Laws: New Bill Makes Violation a Primary Offense

When Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti died in separate auto accidents more than a decade ago, their parents hoped they could find some meaning in their loss that others could learn from.

Neither young woman was wearing a seat belt when they were killed.

Legislator and father, Irv Slosberg tried for 13 years to push a bill that would allow officers to ticket someone for not wearing a seat belt. As a primary offense, the officer could pull a motorist over for no other reason.

Until now, Florida only allowed a ticket to be written if an officer notices that, in addition to the reason the person was pulled over, they were also not wearing a seat belt.

Irv Slosberg was all thumbs up Wednesday after the Florida house passed a bill (SB344) that makes a seat belt violation a primary offense. Gov Charlie Crist is expected to sign it into law which would go into effect in June, according to a report.

The law carries a fine of $30, which is not exactly an incentive. Also no points are added to a driver’s record, unless you child is not in their car seat.

What may be behind the bill this year is money for cash strapped Florida. The law is expected to bring in another $35 million in federal highway revenue.

Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law mean that you will soon be able to be pulled over for not wearing a seat belt in Florida.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, making a seat belt offense a primary offense is predicted to save about 124 lives in Florida every year and prevent more than 1,700 serious personal injuries.

“Every time I hear my daughter’s name, it’s emotional,” said Slosberg, 61. “It’s a great day for Floridians. We have a better, safer place to live.”

Our condolences go out to the young lives that were lost and led to this new law and hope that drivers and passengers buckle-up.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in Florida, the experienced Jacksonville car accident attorneys at Farah and Farah can help you during this challenging time. Our lawyers have the knowledge and skills to investigate your personal injury case and defend your rights for compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.