Bucks County State Representative Kathy Watson says she has been trying for five years to get laws on the books that will improve highway safety for drivers under the age of 18 and their passengers, and she will keep on pushing. She says the need for teens to wear seat belts is clear.
“50 percent of the deaths that come for age 16 ½ to 18 are because they’re ejected from the vehicle, and you’re ejected because you’re not buckled up.”
She would make driving or riding without a seat belt a primary offense for people under the age of 18, which means police could ticket them for it, even if they were not committing another traffic offense. She says some of the opposition to such laws is based on tradition.
“A large part of our state says they have a cultural history of hundreds of years: government doesn’t make laws to tell me how to behave in my own vehicle or my own home.”
Watson also wants to limit the number of people under the age of 18 in a vehicle and bar them from texting or talking on hand-held cell phones while driving. She appeared Tuesday on the WNPV talk program Comment Please by Univest.