Safety Belt Law Expansion Proposed in the Florida House

With the Legislature meeting in Tallahassee for committee weeks, state Rep. Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Ration, has filed a bill to ensure all passengers in cars wear safety belts.

Slosberg weighed in on the proposal on Tuesday as she looks to expand the Florida Safety Belt Law which, her office noted, “currently requires drivers, front seat passengers, and passengers under 18 years of age to wear a safety belt; however, adult passengers who sit in the back seat do not.”

The Boca Raton Democrat, whose twin sister was killed in a car accident when they were teenagers, wants to change that.

“Although passengers are three times more likely to escape a car crash with little to no injury if they wear a safety belt, many choose not to use this vital piece of safety equipment. Between 2008 and 2017, there were 14,377 passenger vehicle fatalities in the state of Florida. Nearly half of those killed – 6,823 people – were not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash,” her office noted.

“I lost my twin sister in a horrific car crash when we were teenagers,” Slosberg said on Tuesday. “Her seat belt was tragically unbuckled when it happened. Since then, I have dedicated my career to traffic safety advocacy and have fought to make our roads safer with common-sense legislation like this seat belt bill. We could save countless lives every year by requiring everyone to wear a seat belt – including those in the back seat.”

If Slosberg’s bill passes, it would take effect on July 1, 2020.

First elected to her current post in 2016 to represent parts of Palm Beach County, Slosberg is the daughter of former state Rep. Irv Slosberg who served four terms in the Florida House.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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