Seat belt bill clears Senate
A bill to allow evidence of whether a seat belt was worn at the time of an accident in cases alleging safety deficiencies in a vehicle was approved by the Senate and advanced to the House on a vote of 23-10.
SB 30, sponsored by Senator Dan Hegeman, provides in the case of a lawsuit alleging safety devices in a passenger vehicle were inadequate or ineffective, evidence regarding use of the primary safety device in a vehicle, the seat belt, may be introduced for purposes of determining comparative fault. The law would remove a current one percent limit in reduction of an award if the judge or jury finds use of the seat belt would have reduced or mitigated damages, allowing judges and juries to determine how much such an award should be reduced, if any.
“It only makes sense to allow judges and juries to determine whether using a seat belt would have made a difference in an accident when the plaintiff is alleging the safety devices in a vehicle were not protective enough,” said McCarty, in testimony supporting the bill.