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Primary seat belt enforcement bill filed

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A former opponent of primary seat belt enforcement today filed a bill in the Missouri House sponsoring it.

State Representative Bill Deeken (R, Jefferson City) says allowing law officers to pull over motorists simply for not buckling up will not only save lives, but will also enable the state to draw down up to $20 million from Washington.

"And right now with the money crunch that we're having, $20 million would go a long way to help with safety features and stuff like this for highways, and this is what it's supposed to be used for...for safety reasons," Deeken said.

Opponents to primary enforcement cite intrusions on personal freedom, along with fears that primary seat belt enforcement could be used for racial profiling.

Deeken once opposed primary enforcement, but became a supporter after four members of his family survived a collision with an Amtrak train three years ago.