Missouri Transportation Chair Drops Seat Belts, Backs Bridge Tolls

NOVEMBER 21, 2005 - Posted at 4:08 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The House transportation chairman is dropping his efforts to toughen Missouri's seat belt laws.

But chairman Neal St. Onge is joining an effort that could allow toll roads on a new Mississippi River bridge at St. Louis.

St. Onge outlined his legislative priorities today after the Missouri Department of Transportation presented its annual report to lawmakers.

MoDot still wants a law that would let police pull over motorists for not wearing their seat belts.  The House defeated a similar proposal earlier this year.  And St. Onge says he'll focus on other safety issues next year, like tougher penalties for drivers who violate work zone rules.

He's also backing a MoDot idea to authorize a private owner to charge tolls on a new St. Louis bridge.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)