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Missouri legislators look to increase seat belt violation fines

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A proposal to raise Missouri’s fines for seat belt violations could have a better chance in the Senate this year.

Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Mike Kehoe said Wednesday that he wants to advance the bill to the full Senate for debate. The legislation by Sen. Joe Keaveny has died each of the past three years in the transportation committee.

The Democratic senator from St. Louis is proposing to increase the fine from $10 to $50 for people caught not wearing seat belts in vehicles.

The percentage of people using seat belts in Missouri lags behind the national average, and Keaveny hopes a higher fine would encourage more people to buckle up.

The bill drew support Wednesday from police, insurance, doctors’ and trucking groups.

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