Belt Safety Message Finds Deaf Ears In KC, Fines May Leap

Apr 10, 2013

A $50 fine will face drivers in Kansas City caught without a fastened seat belt, if the City Council approves.

Credit KCPD

A new measure would also make it easier for police to write those tickets.

A seat belt violation now costs $10. 

It would go up five-fold under a proposed ordinance that went to the full Council today, without a dissenting vote by members of a public safety committee.

It would also allow police to cite a driver without having to stop him or her on some other violation.

Police traffic Division Commander Jay Pruetting said many have stopped paying attention to belt safety warnings, “we reached the point several years ago when efforts to educate vehicle occupants on the benefits of wearing a seat belt, in voluntary compliance with our secondary seat belt law, were no longer effective.”

Pruetting said 75 percent of the cost of serious or fatal accidents are passed on to the general public through higher insurance rates and other factors.

He cited studies that show states with primary seat belt laws have 90 percent people comply. Missouri compliance, he said, was about 80 percent.