Driving without a seatbelt? That will cost you $50

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Metropolitan Police are ramping up efforts to ticket people who drive without buckling up, even at night.

This focused enforcement is happening in the District, where driving without a seatbelt is considered a primary offense.

That means cops can pull over drivers even if that is the only thing they are doing wrong.

A ticket will result in a $50 fine and two points against the driver’s license, and Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier says her officers wrote about 10,000 such tickets last year.

Speaking on WTOP’s Ask The Chief program, Lanier says before she became a police officer she couldn’t stand to wear a seatbelt and didn’t.

“After I started in this job and then more importantly after I spent two years in the traffic fatality unit, I have seen enough that I don’t pull out of my driveway without a seatbelt,” she said.

“Relatively minor collisions … can have devastating consequences if you’re not wearing your seatbelt, but it’s extremely rare for us to see fatalities of a person who is wearing a seatbelt unless there’s an extremely high speed rate.”

Read more about the District’s tough seatbelt laws.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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