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Jonesboro, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

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By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT)   - "In the past, we've had a secondary seat belt law where you had to be pulled over on another violation before we could issue you a warning ticket or a citation to court," said Lieutenant Robert Speer, with Arkansas State Police.

"...but with this law, it's a primarily law, we can pull you over at any time we see you operating a vehicle without a seat belt on, that includes passengers too," said Lt. Speer.

It's a law Speer says law enforcement is excited about.  He says seat belts can make the difference between walking away from a crash or not.

According to the new law that goes into effect on Tuesday, adopting a primary seat belt law could save as many as 47 lives each year, and prevent approximately 500 serious injuries.

Lt. Speer says there are so many variables when a trooper stops a car, it will be at their discretion whether the drivers get a warning or written a citation.

If he thinks you're not educated on the new law, he might use his discretion and write a warning.   If he thinks you're a usual violator of the law, he will probably issue you a citation for this," said Speer.

Speer says troopers are used to looking beyond just how fast drivers are going.  He says he doesn't think this new law will be hard to enforce, with a goal of keeping drivers and their passengers, as safe as possible. 

Again, the law goes into effect on Tuesday.

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