Cops can now pull over unbuckled driversStarting today, police in Wisconsin have the authority to pull over motorists simply for not wearing their seat belts.
By: Shawn Johnson/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Starting today, police in Wisconsin have the authority to pull over motorists simply for not wearing their seat belts.
Previously, officers could only ticket drivers for seat belt violations only if they had another reason to pull them over.
This new law changes that, and that means that as long as police suspect you’re not wearing your seat belt, that would be reason enough to pull you over.
Supporters like AAA Wisconsin have argued for years this will reduce traffic deaths. Spokesman L.arry Kamholz says the fact that it’s now law is a pretty big deal. He says statistics have long shown by just wearing a seat belt, it reduces chances of being fatally or seriously injured in a traffic crash.
This is an issue that’s been introduced regularly at the Capitol without success. The thing that made the difference this year is that it was included as part of the budget, and tied to a $15-million incentive from the federal government.
Critics call it a case of “federal blackmail” and say this would have never passed the legislature on its own merits. They worry it will give police an excuse to pull over motorists who’ve done nothing wrong.