Seat belt fines in Tennessee to increase starting January 2016

So far in 2015 there have been 286 fatal crashes in Tennessee where people were not wearing their seat belts.

It is a problem Lt. Rick Garrison with the Tennessee Highway Patrol says they struggle with on a daily basis.

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“Tennessee is between 86 and 87 percent of people complying with the seat belt, that’s a lot of people not wearing their seat belt,” Garrison said.

If you forget to wear your sear belt and get pulled over it will cost you.

“Right now its 10 dollars for first offense 20 dollars for second offense,” Garrison said.

That price is one Lt. Garrison said a lot of people are willing to pay over and over again.

“Theres been people we’ve got stopped for seat belt violations, 14 or 15 seat belt violations, they say well I can pay that 10, 20 dollar fine every day,” Garrison said.

That is all about to change starting in January 2016 as drivers will soon face a $25 fine for a first offense and a $50 fine after that.

It is just one of many ways Tennessee is hoping to get everyone to buckle up before they hit the road.

“Now you may get their attention and thats all it is to try to deter people from continuing on to do it, because how much is a life worth?,” Garrison said.

The fine increase for seat belt violations takes effect in January.

Copyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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