Montana Lawmaker Seeks to Increase Seatbelt Violation Fine

By ALISON NOON | January 29, 2015

Getting caught without a seatbelt could cost Montana drivers five times the current fine under a proposed bill.

Sen. Dick Barrett argued that seatbelt violators should be fined $100, up from $20.seatbelt

The Democrat from Missoula introduced Senate Bill 165 in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

The bill would not change existing stipulations that protect seatbelt violators from increased insurance premiums, license suspension or jail time for the offense.

About 9,700 citations for not wearing a seatbelt are recorded every year in Montana. At that rate, the bill would bring in an additional $233,000 annually.

However, Barrett says fewer violations would occur because an increased penalty would influence more people to wear seatbelts.

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