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Primary Seatbelt Legislation

March 4th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

There are hundreds of traffic infractions that can get you pulled over, but one act can not: Not wearing your seat belt. State law says police can only ticket you for not wearing a seatbelt if they stop you for something else. Legislation to change the enforcement cleared a legislative committee today in Tallahassee. Katie Marchetti of Tampa was killed three years ago today. Her parents Vincent and Laura came to the state capitol to put a human story on the face of the legislation.

She was a passenger in her own car. Her boyfriend had a seatbelt on and he survived with barely a scratch, Laura Marchetti said. Plain and simple, he had a seatbelt on and he survived and my daughter was ejected from the car, thrown onto the highway and then another car ran over our daughter. She died five hours later.

While the legislation has failed for at least the last five years, it takes on new urgency this year. Florida stands to gain a 35 million dollar federal grant, but it must act before June 30th.

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