Utah lawmakers passed a bill allowing police officers to pull over motorists for not wearing a seat belt. A new poll shows the public sharply divided on the issue.
A new UtahPolicy.com survey finds 51% of Utahns support making not wearing a seat belt a primary offense while 46% are opposed. Previously, law enforcement could only cite drivers for not wearing a seat belt if they were pulled over for a different offense.
The effort to pass a primary seat belt law has a long one. HB 79 finally passed both houses this year. Previously it had been blocked over fears it interfered with personal freedom.
A majority of Republicans (52%) and Democrats (65%) support the primary seat belt law, while 52% of political independents are opposed.
On a similar issue, lawmakers are considering a proposal to ban cell phone use behind the wheel unless a phone call is hands-free.
60% of Utahns support the legislation while 38% are opposed. That number includes 57% of Republicans, 72% of Democrats and 55% of political independents.
Currently lawmakers are considering legislation to require all cell phone calls behind the wheel to be hands-free. It would allow for drivers to touch the phone once to use voice-activated features on the phone.
The Dan Jones and associates poll was conducted March 3-5, 2015 among 406 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.86%