LAWRENCE MESSINA,Associated Press
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The House of Delegates wants drivers to be pulled over in West Virginia for not wearing a seat belt.
A 55-44 vote Thursday narrowly passed a bill making that violation a primary offense.
Thirty-one states now treat failure to wear a seat belt as a primary offense that triggers a traffic stop.
Not wearing a seat belt in West Virginia is now secondary offense. That means a driver must be pulled over for some other violation to be cited.
The House Judiciary Committee endorsed the bill earlier this month, but only by 13-11.
Thursday's vote followed an emotional debate. Both sides invoked lost loved ones.
Opponents argued seat belt use is a matter of personal responsibility. Supporters said it would help save lives and avoid family tragedies.