Proposed seat belt bill includes racial profiling language
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Proposed seat belt bill includes racial profiling language

Date: January 22, 2007
By: Rachel Higginbotham
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: Police officers would be able to pull Missouri drivers over soley for not wearing a seat belt under a bill sponsored by Representative Jeff Roorda. But Roorda says his bill has more to do with racial profiling than buckling up. Rachel Higginbotham (HIG-in-bah-thum) has more from the Capitol. 

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Currently in Missouri, police can only ticket unbuckled drivers after they've been pulled over for another offense. The bill's supporters, including the state's Transportation Department, say the bill could save 90 lives per year.

But opponents to a similar bill in Massachusetts claimed that the law would make it easier for officers to racially profile drivers. That bill was rejected last year.

Roorda said he took that into account when writing the bill.

Actuality:  ROORDA.WAV

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Description: What I want to do is engage in a dialogue where we can pass legislation that, whether racial profiling is a terrible problem or a very isolated incident, that we adopt legislation that addresses it one way or the other.


Under Roorda's bill, police departments that have violated state racial profiling statutes would not be able to enforce the law.

From Jefferson City, I'm Rachel Higginbotham.