North Dakota Safety Council backs push to pass SB2362 – Primary Seatbelt Bill
More people die in motor vehicle crashes in North Dakota from being unbelted than any other crash factor. In 2022, there were 97 fatalities on ND’s roadways, 68% of those that were seatbelt eligible were not wearing a seatbelt. NHTSA research shows that increased seat belt use with a primary law vs a secondary law can result in an up to 10 to 12 percent increase in observed seat belt use.
SB2362 – Primary Seatbelt has already passed the Senate 31-14. This week, Thursday, Feb. 9, it is expected to come in front of the House Transportation Committee. The NDSC strongly backs the passing of this bill as we KNOW it will save lives.
So, what is SB2362? This bill will update our current (outdated) seatbelt law – and will immediately save lives. The law changes two things from the current law:
Every Vehicle Occupant must wear a seatbelt (Current law is just front seat passengers)
Makes the violation a primary offense (Current law it is a secondary offense)
*The fine remains the same ($20).
The NDSC urges you to call your local representatives in the House of Representatives to help get this important law passed. Call your Representatives and ask them to vote in favor of the primary seatbelt law.
The NDSC has submitted testimony on the bill and continues to support Vision Zero and all other partner agencies working for the passage of the bill. The National Safety Council has also submitted its support.
“This upgrade to the state’s current seat belt requirement is a timely improvement, supported by research and experience to be a proven lifesaver”
National Safety Council
Need more reason to back SB2362?
North Dakota is significantly lower than the national average regarding front-row seat belt use, with 83.7 percent usage compared to 97 percent averages across the U.S.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found when a state strengthens its laws from secondary to primary enforcement, driver deaths decline by an estimated seven percent.