Georgia’s pickup truck drivers look set to begin buckling up compulsorily as the state’s senate passed a seatbelt law last week that will require all pickup drivers to wear seatbelts while they are driving. The senate passed the bill by a vote of 49-4. It will now move on to the House, where it hasn’t fared too well the last few times it made it there. Rural and agricultural interests have long argued that the seatbelt law is unnecessary, and that it will "hinder farmers." Legislators who support the law say that any concerns about farmers and the inconvenience to them are simply overblown.
Legislators who support the bill estimate that it could possible save as many as 105 lives a year in automobile accidents.Besides, there’s the little matter of a grant of $4.6 million that the state would be eligible to receive from the federal government if the bill actually becomes law.Georgia is grappling with a massive budget deficit, and the lure of a grant could be the deciding factor when House members vote for or against the bill.For now, House members have been non committal about their response to the bill.Governor Purdue too hasn’t made a commitment to supporting it
Georgia still remains behind most states as far as mandatory seatbelt laws are concerned, even though pickup drivers themselves have been vocal in their support of any such law.So far, these drivers have been exempt from having to buckle up compulsorily, and this has not only cost the state that $4 million grant, but also hundreds of lives that could have been saved every year by the simple act of buckling up.These pickups can cause their unrestrained occupants serious injuries in the event of an accident. Across the country, states have adopted mandatory seatbelt laws, and the impact on their fatality rates has been clear to see. The increasing rates of seatbelt use and stricter enforcement of seatbelt laws by traffic police has been cited as a possible reason why the accident fatality rate across the country is declining the way it is.
As Atlanta car accident lawyers, we constantly see the severity of injuries caused when an accident victim wasn’t buckled up safely, and for this very reason, have been advocates of mandatory seatbelt use for all, without exemption.