The Maine House of Representatives recently passed a bill that permits police officers to stop and ticket drivers 18 years and older, as well as passengers, for failing to wear a seat belt, the Portland Press Herald
reports. Current law prohibits officers from citing adult motorists for this offense unless they are stopped for breaking another law. The existing seat belt law, however, does allow police to pull over a vehicle in which a child passenger is not properly strapped in. The Senate backed the bill in preliminary voting in early April, and Gov. John Baldacci has expressed support for the bill. According to the Portland Press Herald
, if passed, the new law would take effect 90 days after the legislative session ends in June. Offenders would initially get warnings for violating the law through the end of March 2008. After that, they would be fined $50 for the first offense, $125 for the second offense, and $250 for subsequent offenses.