Traffic ticket increase


Story Published: Nov 24, 2008 at 12:23 PM MST
Story Updated: Nov 24, 2008 at 12:23 PM MST

By Justine Beauvais

POCATELLO - Idaho has one of the lowest traffic fines in the country but this may not be the case for long. Right now the fine for a seat belt violation is ten dollars but a request will be made to increase the cost.

As an officer who investigated numerous accidents and fatality accidents Sergeant Ian Nelson knows what wearing a seat belt can do. "People choose to believe that they will save their lives or they won't save their lives and as a law enforcement officer we know that they will," he says. In his years as a traffic officer seat belts had little influence. "It was not uncommon for the majority of the cars that we were stopping to not be wearing seat belts," says Nelson.

Now the Idaho Transportation Department wants to increase seat belt fines and some say its not only a good idea but also encouraging. "It probably would have the affect for more people to wear their seat belts," says Jamie Nicholls. Having an increased cost may also make drivers think twice about not buckling up. "People do get affected by their pocketbooks and think I don't want a higher penalty I'm not going to risk loosing money over a seat belt," says Nelson.

The state Transportation Department is also looking to change the fee of a seat belt violation for drivers under the age of eighteen. The ticket currently costs five times more for an adult and the department would like to see these fees equal.