Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta has called on states to pass "primary" seat-belt laws, which allow police to stop and cite motorists solely for failing to wear a seat belt, according to the Washington Post
.Twenty states have primary seat-belt laws. Twenty-nine other states allow officers to write a citation for not wearing a seat belt only if the motorist is stopped and cited for another infraction. Only New Hampshire has no seat-belt law."Our nation simply cannot afford the more than $230 billion in economic losses each year by car crashes that devastate entire families," Mineta said at the National Conference of State Legislatures' Fall Forum, the Times
reported. "The facts are clear. The most effective way to save lives is to enactprimary safety-belt laws."A total of 1,400 lives could be saved eachyear if all remaining states enacted primary laws, Mineta said, according to the Post
.In an effort to advance seat belt safety, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) joined the Air Bag & Seat Belt Safety Campaign this year. One of the campaign's highest priorities is to encourage every state to enact primary seat belt laws.Secretary Mineta commended NADA and dealers for these efforts in a recent meeting at NADA's offices, according to NADA Newswire.