Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 | 3:58 p.m.
CARSON CITY – By a 12-9 vote, the Senate has approved a toughened seat belt law allowing police to stop a motorist for failing to buckle up.
At present, law enforcement can only cite a driver for not wearing a seat belt if the motorist is stopped for another offense.
Senate Bill 116 now goes to an uncertain fate in the Assembly.
Two years ago the primary seat belt law was first defeated in the Senate by an 8-13 vote. But then it was revived and was approved 11-10. But it died in the Assembly Transportation Committee.
A seat belt bill wasn’t introduced in the 2005 Legislature but one in the 2003 session died in the Senate Finance Committee without coming to a vote of the full Senate.
In the balloting this time, both Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas and Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, voted against SB116.
Others who voted no this time were Sens. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City; Terry Care, D-Las Vegas; Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas; Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas; Bernice Mathews, D-Reno; Mike McGinness, R-Fallon and Maurice Washington, R-Sparks.
Sens. Bob Coffin and Valerie Wiener, both Democrats from Las Vegas, voted against the bill in 2007 but changed their vote to support it this time.
There was no debate on the bill.