HB 1259: AN ACT relative to passenger restraints

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HB 1259:  AN ACT relative to passenger restraints.

This bill requires passenger restraint use by all motor vehicle operators and passengers unless specifically exempt by law.

New Hampshire is the only state in the US without a primary or secondary law requiring adult motorists to wear seat belts.  No legislative action on this issue has been taken since 2009, when a bill requiring adult seat belt use passed the House but was defeated in the Senate.  Proponents of a mandatory seat belt law argue that it would save lives, reduce injuries, and save the state, the federal government, and insurance companies millions of dollars.  Opponents counter that the choice to wear a seat belt should remain up to the individual, and point out that even without a mandate, NH traffic fatality rates have been steadily declining.  (Prepared by Susan Smith, BSN, MHA, NEBC, NHA)

NHNA’s Commission on Government Affairs is in favor of the passage of HB 1259.

Joan Widmer, Nurse Executive Director of NHNA attended and testified in support of this bill at the public hearing on February 6, 2018.  The majority of those that spoke, testified in support of this bill.  But House leadership, through Rep. Packard (Rockingham, 05), testified in opposition to this bill.

On February 28, 2018, the House Transportation Committee voted this bill ought not to pass (10:9).

This bill was Laid on the Table (effectively killed) by the House on March 15, 2018 (195:12).