Va. bill would require everyone in a car to buckle up

Del. Paul Krizek (D-Fairfax) has introduced House Bill 9. It would require everyone in a motor vehicle to wear a seat belt.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A lawmaker is taking another shot at passing legislation aimed at keeping Virginians safe.

Del. Paul Krizek (D-Fairfax) has introduced House Bill 9. It would require everyone in a motor vehicle to wear a seat belt.

This isn’t his first go round with a bill like this. Last year, his proposal died in committee.

“I think it has a much better shot this time,” he said of the more evenly-balanced House of Delegates.

In Virginia, police can’t pull over drivers for not wearing a seat belt, but they can ticket as a secondary offense.

Drivers, minors and front-seat passengers are currently required to buckle in.

But Krizek believes everyone should be included in that list.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 48 percent of passengers killed in crashes were not buckled up and that 80 percent of passengers who were completely ejected die.

“If you’re in the back seat [and not wearing a seat belt] you could kill other occupants,” he said.

He said strapping on a seat belt is one of the cheapest ways to save lives.

For driver Isa Warith, it’s already part of his routine.

“I am a ‘click it before you ticket’ kind of guy for sure,” he said. “First and foremost.”

Warith said he thinks the legislation is a good idea.

“You have to be very defensive and cautious,” he said.

Krizek has also spoken out about requiring seat belts on school buses. It’s something Henrico County has already started to implement.

The Democrat’s bill on buses was tabled last session, but he plans to propose another one for the upcoming session.

The first day of the General Assembly session is Jan. 10.

To see all bills that have been proposed so far, click here.