Seat belt requirement for rear seat dies in Senate committee

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

HB 2460 would require all occupants to be restrained.

Calling the measure intrusive, a Senate panel quashed efforts to expand Arizona’s seat belt laws.

Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, was able to get only one member of the Committee on Health and Human Services to support HB 2460 to require all occupants to be restrained. He argued that the existing law which covers only front-seat occupants is insufficient.

But the bigger objection came to allowing police to pull someone over solely because someone is not buckled up.

Concerns ranged from giving police more excuses to stop motorists to improper state intrusion on matters of personal responsibility. And Sen. Rebecca Rios, D-Phoenix, said it makes no sense to mandate seat belt use for back-seat passengers when other state laws actually allow children to be in the back of the open bed of pickup trucks.

Thorpe, however, said he is not quite ready to give up.

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