North Dakota lawmakers are considering changing the seatbelt law to allow law enforcement to pull over drivers for not buckling up.
House Bill 1335 would make it a primary offense if you fail to wear your seat belt.
Currently, failing to buckle up is a secondary offense in North Dakota.
Drivers can only be cited for not wearing a seat belt if they are pulled over for another offense.
Gene LaDoucer with AAA in North Dakota says there has been a sharp increase in the number of fatal crashes in the state.
He compares North Dakota data to Minnesota to show how the primary law in our neighboring state has decreased deaths.
"While ND's crash fatalities are at a 30 year high. In Minnesota they are at the lowest level since 1944. Minnesota has seen a 42% reduction in deaths in the past decade. ND has seen a 60% increase," says LaDoucher.
Lorne Campbell of Bismarck opposes the bill. "We are not wards of the state. This bill is not about wearing a seat belt, it's about using the force of law to penalize those who don't. This kind of legislation is right up there with using law enforcement to make sure we brush our teeth or don't eat too many sweets," argues Campbell.
32 states in the nation have primary seat belt laws.
It's a secondary law in 17 states, but primary for young drivers and passengers.