Senate votes to weaken Maine’s seat belt law

The Associated Press
Posted March 15, 2011, at 11:59 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — By a razor-thin margin, the Maine Senate has voted to reduce the state’ s mandatory seat belt law to a secondary offense, meaning a violator could not be given a ticket unless stopped for another offense.

After a debate that pitted personal rights to make choices versus state rights to ensure public safety, senators voted 18-17 Tuesday to pass the bill. It still faces further House and Senate votes.

Under present law, all motorists in Maine must wear a safety belt and can be fined $50 for the first offense and $125 for the second offense.

Tuesday afternoon, the Transportation Committee took up two other traffic-safety proposals, which would outlaw the use of hand-held cellular phones or other electronic devices while driving, and ban texting while driving.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/03/15/politics/senate-votes-to-weaken-maines-seat-belt-law-mepolitics/ printed on August 21, 2014