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Legislator comes out in support of stricter seat belt laws

December 17, 2017

COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont legislator who previously opposed more stringent seat belt laws says a recent series of deadly crashes has changed his mind.

Republican Rep. Pat Brennan tells Vermont Public Radio he plans to introduce a bill next year that would make seat belt violations a primary offense. The change would give police officers the authority to pull people over solely because they aren’t wearing their seat belts.

As the chairman of the House Committee on Transportation, Brennan says he previously opposed making the violation a primary offense because he felt it was government overreach. That was before eight highway fatalities were reported in the same week in August.

Now, he says, there comes a time when legislators have to help people who “can’t look out for themselves.”

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