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Legislature passes law requiring back seat passengers wear seat belts

putting on safety seatbelt

The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday requiring that passengers in the back seat of motor vehicles must be wearing seat belts. The previous seat belt law only applied to front seat passengers and the driver.

The bill has passed both Houses and now goes to the Governor.

Senate Bill 254 is sponsored by State Sen. David Burkette, D-Montgomery. SB254 was carried on the House floor by State Rep. Chris Sells, R-Greenville.

The bill is named by Roderic Deshaun Scott, a Montgomery high school student who was killed in a car crash on I-65 when he was thrown from the vehicle.

State Rep. Kirk Hatcher, D-Montgomery, said Scott was a student at Robert E. Lee High School and had committed to play college basketball at Jacksonville State. He and four other students were going to Birmingham for a game. They were going northbound and the car flipped over in the accident. Roderick was thrown from the vehicle into the southbound lane. There were two others who were ejected, as well, but they were not killed.

“The details are so vivid to me,” Hatcher said. “I can feel the weight of what these parents go through. I am told that there is no pain like a parent losing a child,” Hatcher said. “Prior to today, we were one of 20 states that do not have back seat belt laws.”

“Seat belts save lives,” Hatcher said.

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The bill passed the House 77 to 17.

The bill now goes to the governor for her consideration.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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