Virginia Senate panel kills stricter seat-belt law (SB 1282)

Virginia will continue to have one of the weakest seat-belt laws in the country after a Senate committee killed a bill to require rear-seat passengers in a motor vehicle to wear safety belts and to make violating the state’s seat-belt law a primary offense.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 6-5 Wednesday to shelve SB 1282, which sought to expand Virginia’s seat-belt requirements. Currently, only the driver and front-seat passengers must wear a safety belt (or children must be secured in car seats). Violations are a secondary offense, meaning officers cannot pull drivers over and ticket them simply for not wearing a seat belt.