Wisconsin enacts new primary seatbelt law

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Wisconsin has enacted a new primary seatbelt law that will enable police officers to stop a driver and write a citation if they see a violation, as they do for other traffic infractions. The new law also makes Wisconsin eligible to receive $15.2 million in federal incentive funds.

“We are pleased that Wisconsin has raised its safety bar and joined other states and territories that have adopted primary seatbelt laws to save lives on their highways,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Wearing your seatbelt can be the ultimate factor between life and death.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, with the passage of its primary belt law, Wisconsin will increase its belt use by about 10 percentage points, cut annual fatalities by 4 percent and reduce serious injuries. In 2008, the average seatbelt use rate in states with primary enforcement laws was 13 percentage points higher than in states with secondary enforcement laws.