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Rhode Island Police to Enforce Nighttime Seat Belt Use [VIDEO]

The primary seat belt law allows officers to fine motorists $85 for not buckling up at any time of the day.

Rhode Island police have a message for motorists: click your seat belt or face a $85 fine.

Local law enforcement including and will start heavily enforcing nighttime seat belt use. Violators will be fined $85 for each person in the vehicle who is not wearing a belt.

According to DOT, 79 percent of vehicle fatalities in Rhode Island occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. In those crashes, nearly three-fourths of motorists were killed for not wearing their seatbelts. 

The campaign will be the second law enforcement effort conducted under the state's new primary seat belt law. Enacted last June, the statue allows police to fine drivers at any time for not buckling up. Under the prior law, drivers had to be pulled over for another offense before they could be ticketed for not wearing a restraint.

Dan Converse supports the law and spoke from personal experience. The Barrington resident lost his son Jonathan Converse on Nov. 5, 2007 after he was thrown out of a car. The 16-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt. Alcohol use was involved by those in the vehicle.

"I support this law," he said at press conference last Wednesday at the Taunton Avenue Park and Ride surrounded by police officers from communities across Rhode Island. "I would not be standing here if he took one, two seconds to click his seatbelt."

Jack Baillargeron March 29, 2012 at 01:55 AM
No one of the other reasons it was passed that way, was that many people are irritated by the cross shoulder and older cars did not have then, only lap belts. Some cars today still have only lap belts in the back. You cannot determine whether they would have it on or not, therefore giving police and opertunity to abuse the law, especially on minorities or just the way a person looks. These and many other arguments were presented about it, to include the ones on the helmet law for motorcyclist, which still only requires the passenger and bicycle are not required protection of any kind. There are many arguments for and against this, Mine is still why now? For me obviously to have police spend their time doing mass pull overs and clogging the legal system to get money under the guise of education, which it will never go too. There is no doubt in my mind this will end up with many in court, in this State it is the norm. We should be cutting and looking at ways to solve the budget issues, not just go the same rout of,(we need to find a way to get more money). In tough times, home owners do with out things. Where does the nanny State end? In Rhode Island it seems no-where, until we are bankrupt. This is all politics as usual in R.I.
Jack Baillargeron March 29, 2012 at 01:56 AM
forgot to put on the lap belt that many people push it to the side, leaving the lap belt in place, especially women and large people, so you cannot tell if they have one on even though th lap belt is one. There will be cases on that I am sure also.
Ray Andrews March 29, 2012 at 02:15 AM
It's not my assessment. It's the plain and simple formal record of the law that shows that it is the same ordinance. Simply reading the amendment shows that. There is no waiting to see if it becomes law. The amendment to 31-22-22 went into effect last year. It's not a new law, and not subject to veto. Have you read the law ?
Jack Baillargeron March 29, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I have read the law; I am also going by what the article says. It says the 2nd law that to me mean means a different law. Also a law amended by adding a new charge is new, I think you are splitting hairs to say this is not new. Prohibition was law, then amended to repeal it. So was that the same law? Not trying to belittle what you are saying, I just think it is all semantics, It for the obvious scam, which again will cost more than it is worth to have it primary as I stated in my other post. It also expires; "SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage and it shall expire on June 30, 2013". Why is that? If it is so important and not merely a scam to collect money? Why does not state, the fines will go to education? it states 50% to municipalities, 50% to the State. Education will never see this, just like Roads never saw it, it will be in general funds and excuses made that they had to rob it as usual. "The campaign will be the second law enforcement effort conducted under the state's new primary seat belt law. Enacted last June". Do you not find it strange that all of a sudden it is getting enforced and supported by Chaffee to do it. No matter how you look at it, it is being used to further politics as usual. Always make the people suffer, You know as well as I do that many just forget to put a seatbelt on when going just down the street. I admit that is no excuse. But to have it primary is a scam, in these economic times.,called revenue enhancement.
Ray Andrews March 29, 2012 at 04:58 PM
The importance of it being the same law is not a trivial one, there may be legal precedents, case law, previous legal challenges, or other decisions based on the existing law. That is why when a law changes it is usually done as amendments (yes prohibition as well). It makes more sense than having a nightmare of multiple laws on the books where law-b modifies law-a, and law-c modifies law-a, and law-d modifies part of law-b and law-a, and so on. Also the precedents and decisions tied to the existing law are carried on as well. The article refers to the states new primary seat-belt law, that could be just a matter of grammar. The state did not have a 'primary seat-belt law', but with the change to the existing law, it became a primary. Imagine you had an existing gas station that added hydrogen fueling for the states new jet-scooters, you could refer to that existing station as the states 'new hydrogen fueling station'. Why expiration in June 30 2013, well June 30 is the end of a fiscal year, why 2013, I don't know but that expiration has been in the law for a while. It may be something that was put in a while back because there was an intention to revisit the effect of the law at a later date. A lot of laws have similar expiration for that reason, and it typically gets extended later, with another amendment. As for what will happen to the money, who knows when you have politicians making decisions.

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