Tennessee State Legislature Passes Lifesaving Seatbelt Bill

Thursday, May 20, 2004 202-408-1711 x15

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety Hails
Tennessee State Legislature for Passage of
Lifesaving Seat Belt Bill

Washington, D.C., May 20, 2004. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) applauds the Tennessee legislature for passing a primary seat belt enforcement bill today that will save lives and reduce injuries for Tennessee citizens. If signed by Governor Bredesen, Tennessee will become the 21st state, along with the District of Columbia, to have such a law.

Judith Lee Stone, president of Advocates, said, “This is a great victory for the people of Tennessee. By adopting this crucial highway safety law, Tennessee legislators can lay claim to future lives saved and injuries avoided, not to speak of reducing costs to the state’s treasury. It’s a win-win law for everyone.”

States with the stronger primary seat belt enforcement law have a much higher seat belt use rate than states without such laws. Enactment of this law is expected to increase Tennessee’s seat belt use rate from 68 percent, which is well below the national average of 79 percent, to 80 percent or better.

Stone adds, “Advocates urges Governor Bredesen to sign this bill as it stands to save the state more than $181 million in economic costs associated with fatalities and injuries from unbelted passengers.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a primary seat belt law in Tennessee could save as many as 81 lives and prevent 886 serious injuries each year.


Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), an alliance of consumer, health and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America’s roads safer, is actively involved at the federal and state levels to reduce the terrible tragedy of crashes to families across the nation. More information about the unfinished highway and auto safety agenda can be found on Advocates’ web site, www.saferoads.org.

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