Sheriff says bill calling for tougher seat belt law could face uphill battle in North Dakota House

(Fargo, ND) -- Grand Forks County Sheriff Andy Schneider says a bill calling for a tougher state seat belt law could face resistance in the House. 

"There's a big group in the house of representatives over there in the house that say that your violating my rights and your taking away my freedoms when in actuality, I mean I don't know how else to put it, but this bill is not about citations. this is about life," said Schneider. 

SB 2362 is a primary seat belt law that if passed would replace the state's secondary seat belt law. The current law allows law enforcement officers to only issue a citation for lack of seat belt use only when there is another citable traffic infraction. SB 2362 would officers to cite a driver or passenger for not wearing a seat belt, without any other traffic offense taking place. The bill has passed the Senate and is now under House review. 

"It's just terrible honestly when we go to a crash. There's nothing worse for a deputy rolling up on a crash and you walk up on a vehicle and you don't hear anything, because what does silence mean? Silence is usually death," said Schneider. 

Schneider made the comments while appearing on "What's on Your Mind" on AM 1100 The Flag. 

Original Air Date: 
Tuesday, February 7, 2023