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Forum staff report, Published January 08 2009

ND lawmaker offers seat-belt incentive

BISMARCK – A rural North Dakota legislator is offering an incentive for motorists to use seat belts.

Pettibone Rep. Duane DeKrey has introduced a bill that would subtract one penalty point on a traffic violation if the offender is wearing a seat belt.

For example, speeding between 11 and 15 miles per hour over the limit normally carries a one-point penalty against your driver’s license. Under DeKrey’s proposal, if a driver was going that fast and was wearing a seat belt, no penalty point would be assessed.

It takes 12 penalty points to get your license suspended.

DeKrey said his proposal is a better way to encourage motorists to wear seat belts. Others favor allowing police to ticket drivers whom they see driving without seat belts. But DeKrey said he doesn’t like that approach.