Iowa House Silent on Seat Belt Law

By Justin Foss, Reporter

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By Justin Foss

CEDAR RAPIDS - Safety advocates say the issue is seat belts, and lawmakers have less than a week to make a decision.

Last year the Senate passed a bill that would tighten up seat belt rules for kids in cars.

However, the House didn't take action on the bill, and has until next Friday to still get it in this session.

When TV9 asked why the House Transportation committee hasn't talked about it at all this year, some members said they didn't know.

One family says they don't understand why.

"For 20 odd years we've had the law you had to be buckled up in the front seat, of course, and nobody really thought about the back seat," said Safe Kids Iowa advocate Connie Hauskins

Iowa's current law says only kids ten and younger need to be buckled up.

The group Safe Kids Iowa wants to change that, upping the age to 17.

The Senate agreed last year and passed a measure.

But, the House, that's a different story. The Transportation Committee didn't touch the topic last year, and still hasn't talked about it this year.

Hauskins says there's no debate needed.

"To me, there's really not a good reason not to be buckled up in every position in the car," said Hauskins.

Hauskins's daughter Kristina agrees. She says she makes sure her kids are always buckled in.

Some opponents say making everyone buckle up back there is a hassle, Kristina doesn't think so.

"I'd rather her be buckled in safely, than not safe," Kristina Canfield.

For this family it's an easy debate. For the family at the state house, it might take some time.

The House can still debate the bill until next Friday.

If it doesn't by then, it's lost and both sides would have to go through the whole process again next year.

Representative Geri Huser is the chair of the House Transportation Committee, and is responsible for what bills they talk about. Rep. Huser hadn't returned our phone calls as of Friday night.

Email Justin Foss at Justin.Foss@kcrg.com

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