The New Seatbelt Law Can Stop You

PARAGOULD (KAIT) Sitting in governor Mike Beebe's "in box" is a bill that will make big changes to Arkansas' seat belt law .

By adopting the primary seat belt law, the state will be in line for millions of dollars in grants.

Right now you can not be stopped by the police for not wearing a seat belt.  But that all will change in June when this new law goes into effect.

It's click it or ticket with much bigger teeth.

According to the bill, over 200 people killed in vehicle accidents in 2007 were not wearing seat belts.

as a new driver Ashley knows the importance of wearing a seat belt.

I stood by the Court Street, Highway 49 intersection today and watched to see how many people passing by did not wear seat belts.

Currently you can only get a ticket for not wearing a seat belt if you are stopped for something else.

Captain Philip Faulkner, Paragould PD, "Most of our seat belt tickets are written if they are stopped for speeding, reckless driving violations along those lines and if they are not wearing a seat belt the officer will issue a seat belt citation."

The new law will make NOT wearing seat belts a primary offense.

When stopped you will be ticketed with a 35 dollar fine.

Hopefully the law will save lives and catch other criminals.

Faulkner, "That broadens the scope for probable cause stops. They might stop somebody for a seat belt and they might actually be intoxicated or they might have outstanding warrants."

A benefit of the new law will be federal grant money in excess of nine million dollars for highway safety programs.

It is hoped that this new law could save nearly 50 lives and prevent hundreds of serious injuries each year.

According to the governors office the bill should be signed next week and the law should go into effect on June 30th