Minnesota House of Representatives

Menu

Public Information Services Menu

Session Daily

Transportation

House says no to primary seat belts

published 5/8/2008
Share on: 


An agreement designed to save lives and prevent injury did not receive House approval after more than an hour of sometimes emotional debate.

On a 72-62 vote, the House voted to return the committee report on HF3800*/SF3223 to the conference committee.

Sponsored by Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Steve Murphy (DFL-Red Wing), the committee agreement contained a pair of provisions aimed at saving the lives of Minnesotans — mandatory seat belts and graduated driver’s licenses — but a booster seat requirement was reluctantly removed.

The centerpiece was making failure to wear a seatbelt a primary offense. The proposal would also have required all vehicle occupants to be buckled up. Currently, people ages 11 and up can ride in a back seat unbuckled. A motorist must now be stopped for another offense to be issued a citation for failing to wear a seatbelt.

Those wanting to send back the report did so because of this provision. Rep. Tim Faust (DFL-Mora) said the provision was forced on by the Senate, and House members could only "take it or leave it" without any hearings. Rep. A. Willie Dominguez (DFL-Mpls) warned it could help increase racial profiling, and others including Rep. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake) said wearing a seatbelt should be a personal choice.

The report also called for graduated driver’s license restrictions, based on HF2628, sponsored by Rep. Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester).

In part, it requires that during the first six months of provisional licensure, a licensee could not operate a vehicle carrying more than one passenger under age 20 who is not a member of their immediate family. That increases to three passengers the following six months.

Other provisions in the conference committee report included:
• making it illegal to text message when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic;
• making sesquicentennial license plates available for purchase;
• a person who can document homelessness or eligibility for certain need-based relief that has their vehicle impounded could get back some essential contents under certain circumstances without paying for vehicle retrieval; and
• drivers would be required to move to a lane over when passing freeway service patrol, road maintenance and construction vehicles parked or stopped on roadway.

- Mike Cook


Session Daily Home

Select storys by topic:

Search Session Daily


Subscribe to Session Daily Updates.

Session Daily News Feed


Audio & Video: Watch the floor session


Latest Session Daily stories

Bill proposes massage therapist registry, credentialing (3/3/2015 6:40:18 PM)
Health care access fund projected deficit now a surplus (3/3/2015 6:27:22 PM)
Five border cities would share $1 million annually (3/3/2015 6:16:47 PM)
Local governments could donate unused equipment under proposed change (3/3/2015 5:44:09 PM)
Bill would shield people who report crimes and then get sued (3/3/2015 5:18:29 PM)
House considers uniform sexual assault policy for state’s colleges and universities (3/3/2015 4:58:00 PM)
Social Security reprieve could give seniors 'an excuse to stay in Minnesota' (3/3/2015 4:33:00 PM)
Shortage of school bus drivers felt by many districts in Minnesota (3/3/2015 4:18:00 PM)
Committee approves extra protection for security hospital employees (3/3/2015 3:52:00 PM)
‘Colton’s Law’ proposal held over by House committee for clarification (3/3/2015 3:43:00 PM)
Mission to Cuba would make Minnesota farmers first to market (3/3/2015 2:53:00 PM)

  • More news and search
  • Public Information Services  ·   175 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN 55155   ·   Public.Information@house.mn