BILL SUMMARY for SB09-296
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Refer Senate Bill 09-296 to the Committee on Appro||PASS|
02:43 PM -- Senate Bill 09-296
Representative Ryden, bill sponsor, presented Senate Bill 09-296 concerning the enforcement of offenses involving failure of certain persons in a vehicle to use an appropriate restraining device. Under current law, the driver, any front seat passengers, and small children must wear a seat belt or be in an appropriate child car seat when the vehicle is in motion. Law enforcement officers can only issue a ticket for this offense if the driver was pulled over for another traffic infraction. This bill makes violation of seat belt and child car seat laws a primary offense for which tickets may be issued if the violation is clearly observed. The bill includes language to reinforce that profiling is prohibited.
Other provisions of the bill include:
Representative Ryden read from her prepared remarks and distributed a document entitled "Colorado Safety Facts" (Attachment C). She responded to questions from the committee.
- an exemption for medical conditions;
- changes to the requirements for rear-facing and forward-facing child seats;
- clarification to the applicability of the law; and
- an increase in fines for violation of seat belt laws from $65 to $75.
02:59 PM -- Wave Dreher, AAA Colorado, spoke in support of the bill. Ms. Dreher discussed the educational efforts of AAA with regard to traffic safety. She spoke specifically about the lives saved by wearing seatbelts. She stated that enforcing a primary seatbelt law is critical for Colorado. Ms. Dreher responded to questions from the committee about seatbelt use in Colorado and in other states with primary seatbelt laws.
03:05 PM -- Laura Hammoud, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill. Ms. Hammoud related details of her family's experience with a fatal automobile accident.
03:09 PM -- Jim Wolfinbarger, Colorado State Patrol, spoke in support of the bill. Chief Wolfinbarger stated that the increased use of seatbelts saves lives. He discussed traffic accidents from the perspective of the state patrol and a sharp decrease in fatal accidents in Colorado. He addressed questions about seatbelt use in other states, the costs of injury and fatal crashes, and racial profiling. He talked about how difficult it is for a state trooper to observe from outside of a vehicle whether or not an individual is wearing a seatbelt.
03:29 PM -- Lloyd Pearson, representing himself, spoke in opposition to the bill as drafted. Mr. Pearson distributed written testimony to the committee (Attachment D). He read from his prepared remarks. He asked the committee to consider a visible tag for individuals who cannot wear a seatbelt for medical reasons.
03:41 PM -- Herman Stockinger, Department of Transportation, spoke in support of the bill. Mr. Stockinger responded to questions from the committee.
03:42 PM -- Fran Coleman, Brain Injury Coalition and Craig Hospital, spoke in support of the bill. Ms. Coleman discussed the latest statistics from Craig Hospital with regard to serious motor vehicle accidents (Attachment E). She talked about the financial devastation that results from serious accidents.
|TIME: || 03:44:46 PM|
|MOTION:||Refer Senate Bill 09-296 to the Committee on Appropriations with a favorable recommendation. The motion passed on a vote of 6-5.|
Final YES: 6 NO: 5 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS