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Kirkwood Police Can Now Pull Over, Ticket Drivers for Seat Belt Violations

A new ordinance passed at Thursday night’s Kirkwood Council Meeting allows police to pull over drivers for not wearing their seatbelts and give them a $10 ticket.

In a 4-1 vote, the Kirkwood City Council passed an ordinance Thursday night allowing Kirkwood Police officers to pull over and ticket vehicles whose drivers or passengers are not wearing a seat belt.

Kirkwood will now join a group of 17 other cities in St. Louis County who have tougher seat belt laws than the state of Missouri, which is considered to have “secondary seat belt laws.”

Missouri law says police officers may issue a ticket to a driver for not wearing a seat belt, but only if there is another traffic violation for which he or she has been pulled over.

Councilman Bob Sears voted against the measure. He said after the meeting that he believed there was not a need for this law in Kirkwood.

“I didn’t see any compelling reason why the state rule was insufficient,” Sears said.

Mayor Art McDonnell said he was concerned with the safety of drivers.

“So often you see on television all these accidents and they always say, ‘Oh well, they weren’t wearing their seat belts so they are dead’,” McDonnell said. “It seems to me so unfortunate. Other communities are doing the same thing and saying, ‘Come on, we have to get people to wear their seat belts'... We are not going to be out patrolling to see if everybody is wearing their seat belts, but if police notice it, they can stop them and give them a ticket. Hopefully it will be a deterrent.”

H Wills August 04, 2012 at 10:08 AM
They should pull people over for texting as well.
John Ellis September 22, 2012 at 05:07 AM
I support the seat belt law, I think it's created a new generation of drivers who now buckle up before starting up. It's especially important that your children are buckled up and in proper seats. However, I'm far more concerned about the danger of cell phone usage while driving whether it be talking or texting. Both of these activities are far more dangerous to other drivers, than is whether or not an adult driver has their seat belt fastened. It's nice that our city council is concerned about my health but unless it's a public health issue I'd just as soon they butt out. Next thing you know they'll be wanting to take our sharp objects from us.

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