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Rhode Island governor signs seat belt legislation

Posted On Thu, July 7, 2011

With the stroke of a pen, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee enacted legislation requiring all of the state's motorists to wear a seat belt, effective immediately.

The new seat belt law is different from the one that was on the books in the Ocean State. Previously, adults could only be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt if they were pulled over for an unrelated traffic violation, such as running a red light or speeding. Under the new legislation, all drivers can be fined $75 if they are spotted unbuckled.

"This is about saving lives," said Representative Anastasia Williams, one of the sponsors of the bill, in an interview with the Providence Journal. "This is about educating the public about the importance of using a seat belt."

David Strickland, administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, praised the Rhode Island Legislature last week when the Senate passed the bill.

According to the NHTSA, primary seat belt laws prevent approximately 13,000 traffic-related deaths nationwide every year.

Though a good traffic history can help make sure policyholders pay cheap auto insurance rates over the life of their plan, one traffic citation can increase premiums dramatically.

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