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AAA urges passage of Florida seatbelt law

The Florida state senate moved one step closer to passing a law making safety belt violations equally enforceable to other violations.

The Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law moved one step closer to passage in the Florida state legislature, but AAA warned that legislators must act quickly to pass the law before the end of the current session on May 1.

The bill’s passage could help reduce insurance premiums in the state, good news for those looking for car insurance quotes. But AAA said if the state does not act soon it could lose the opportunity to take in $35 million in federal grants.

If a primary law is enacted, the state would be entitled to $35.5 million from the federal government in safety belt performance grants, which will expire on September 30, according to the group.

“Making this change to one of Florida’s most important traffic safety laws will save 124 lives and prevent 1,733 serious injuries in the first year alone,” said Kevin Bakewell, senior vice president of AAA Auto Club South, which is working for passage of the bill as its top safety priority.

Of the approximately 1,000 traffic statutes in place in Florida, safety belt enforcement is the only law enforced on a secondary basis, according to AAA.

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Posted: April 27, 2009

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