KC police now have authority to stop drivers for not wearing seat belts

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The City of Kansas City released an announcement Friday about its new seat belt ordinance, which has been changed to allow Kansas City, Mo., police officers to stop drivers they see not wearing a seat belt.

The new ordinance elevates Kansas City’s seat belt law from a secondary to a primary law. Before, police were only allowed to issue tickets for seat belt violations if they had already stopped the driver for another offense. Now, they can stop a driver for the seat belt violation. The citation carries a fine of $50.

In their news release, the city stated:

“… we’ve reached a point in Kansas City where educating vehicle occupants on the benefits of wearing a seat belt and voluntary compliance with a secondary seat belt law are no longer effective in significantly increasing seat belt usage or bridging the gap between our seat belt usage rate of 79% and the national average of 86%.”

The city says  68 per cent of victims of fatality accidents were not wearing a seat belt. Among drivers and front-seat passengers, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45 per cent and cut the risk of serious injury by 50 per cent, according to city officials.

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