Busted unbelted: New law lets cops stop drivers not wearing seat belt


In the last day of the Minnesota session, legislators passed a bill that will allow officers to pull over drivers who choose not to wear their seat belt. Previously cops had to stop drivers for another offense, such as speeding or another traffic violation.

The bill now goes to Gov. Tim Pawlenty who says he will sign it.

According to a WCCO report, Minnesota will be the 30th state to enact a seat belt law. The law would become active June 9.

The law is expected to save 30 to 100 lives a year by encouraging more Minnesotans to buckle up. About 13 percent of the state's residents don't wear seat belts.

Drivers caught unbelted could face a $25 fine.

The bill has stalled in the Legislature for years, but finally made it through due to funding. This was the last year the state was eligible for $3.4 million in federal funding related to enacting this bill.

Opponents say the bill infringes on a person's rights and personal responsibility. Sometimes natural selection isn't all bad, right? Other opponents argue it could be used for racial profiling, which could be a fair argument.

Watch the WCCO video report here.