Trying to lower the highway death toll at the ceremonial start of summer, state police officers nationwide will pay special attention to adults who fail to buckle up this Memorial Day weekend.
Over half of 31,910 people killed in car crashes in 2001 weren’t wearing seat belts. Laws in 18 states allow police officers to ticket an unbelted driver or front-seat passenger, and the federal government is urging the rest to adopt mandatory seat belt laws. The Bush administration earlier this month proposed highway programs that included a $100 million-a-year incentive for states to enact mandatory seat belt laws.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has urged Congress to penalize states that don’t adopt tougher seat belt laws by requiring them to spend highway construction money on highway safety.