Governor Musgrove Promotes New Seatbelt Legislation

If you get in your car and don't put on your seat belt, Governor Ronnie Musgrove says you deserve a ticket.

The Governor announced today, his support for a stricter seat belt law.

Right now in Mississippi, it's illegal to drive without wearing a seat belt, but officers can't pull you over specifically for that reason. A proposal he's backing would allow law enforcement officers to stop motorists for no other reason than because they are not buckled up.

One state senator has proposed legislation, making driving without a seat belt a primary offense. Governor Musgrove supports that bill, because he says seatbelts save lives. "I'm alive today because I was wearing a seatbelt,'' Musgrove said Tuesday at a news conference attended by law enforcement officials, legislators and others. ``I urge the Legislature to adopt and pass this.''

A Mississippi Association of Highway Safety Leaders report shows the state leads the Southeast in failure to use seatbelts. Some lawmakers are eager to reverse that trend and say tougher laws may be the answer. Many in law enforcement approve of the change, and federal money for enforcement could be available.

The commissioner of Public Safety says this is the first time a governor has publicly backed such a law