Oh, Behave: More States Tighten Seat Belt And Texting Rules

June 8, 2010
You should know better by now not to buckle up, buckle up your loved ones, and avoid texting while driving altogether.

But, increasingly, it's also the law. Last week, both Georgia and Vermont joined 26 other states in banning text messaging by all drivers. The Vermont rule went into effect June 1, while the new Georgia rule is effective July 1.

Georgia also recently passed a bill, signed into law last week by Governor Sonny Purdue, to remove an exemption that allowed pickup drivers to avoid buckling up. According to state estimates, at least 100 lives will be saved each year by the new rule.

Just this past week, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson signed a bill into law that will permit police in the state to stop drivers who aren't wearing a seat belt. Previously, motorists could only be cited if the driver had been stopped for another violation.

A total of 31 states now have primary seat belt laws, while 18 states have secondary ones. New Hampshire stands alone in having no seat belt requirement for adults.

Obese less likely to wear seatbelts

Obese less likely to wear seatbelts

Colorado tightened its occupant restrains laws, too, by requiring that children seven years and younger (as opposed to five years old under the current law) be in a child restraint or booster seat. The new law goes into effect August 1.

For a complete run-down of seat belt laws on a state-by-state basis, visit the these pages from the IIHS or GHSA.

[Governors Highway Safety Association; IIHS]

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