“This,” said Sen. Peter Groff, “is a bill that quite simply saves lives.”
“This,” would be the proposed Colorado law that would allow cops to pull people over for not wearing their seatbelts. Wearing a seat belt is already state law, but law enforcement can currently only cite people for not being strapped in if they pull them over for something else. Groff and others want to make not wearing car restraints a primary offense.
Among the arguments raised in the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee hearing this week were that such a law would save lives, save money and, as Sen. Chris Romer termed it, install a sort of “stupidity tax” on people who don’t wear their seatbelts.
But others argue against creating a “nannyist state” and a potential increase in cops targeting people of color – which, if past years provide any indication, will be sure to make Senate Bill 151 the subject of heated debate as it weaves its way through the legislature for the fourth time.
During this week’s hearing, statistics – some useful – were swatted around like tennis balls.