SAFETY BELTS; Law Will Save Lives

Article excerpt

Here's a question: Of all the laws on the books in Florida, which deserve to be enforced?

Answer: The ones that will save human lives.

That is why a law already on the books needs to be strengthened and enforced.

Currently, a law requiring safety belts be used is a secondary law, meaning that people can only be stopped when there is a more serious violation.

There is a movement in the Legislature to correct this inadequacy.

The Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law would provide for primary enforcement of the law for operators and front seat passengers.

The bill was proposed by former state Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, whose daughter Dori died in a car crash in 1996. She was not wearing a safety belt.

Katie Marchetti was a 16-year-old Brandon resident who was killed in a 2006 crash.

Since Dori's death in 1996, more than 15,000 unbuckled drivers and passengers have died in Florida, Slosberg wrote in an e-mail.

Apart from the human cost, Florida would receive additional federal highway funds by passing such a law if signed into law by June 30 and in effect soon after.

The potential grant could be as high as $35 million, reported a state Senate analysis. …