Washington, D.C. – The U.S. government has proposed a bill that would provide highway trust fund money to states on the condition that they enact primary seatbelt laws and ignition interlocks.

The proposal by the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, The Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009, would provide money conditional upon whether states enact primary safety belt enforcement laws, which allow an officer to stop and ticket a driver solely for safety belt infractions, and mandate the use of ignition interlock devices for first-time drunk driving offenders.

The new proposal is intended to replace the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU), which was signed into law in August 2005, and guaranteed US$244.1 billion in funding for highways, highway safety and public transportation. SAFETEA-LU is due to expire on September 30, 2009.

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