Primary Seat Belt Law Fails in Tie Vote in ND Senate

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A bill allowing police officers to pull over unbuckled drivers failed today.

It was a tie vote, 23 to 23.

With a bill co-sponsor being the only lawmaker, absent.

North Dakota is currently one of 15 states with a secondary seatbelt law—meaning officers must have another reason to pull over somebody, before giving them a ticket for being unbuckled.

The bipartisan bill would have imposed a $50 fine and require seatbelts to be worn in both the front and back seats.

Senate rules allow the President of the chamber, Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, to vote on “substantive matters” when senators are equally divided, but Sanford did not vote on Senate Bill 2060 today and it failed.

North Dakota’s seat belt use rate is about 10 percentage points below the national rate, according to federal records.

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