May 14, 2009
All Texans would have to buckle up in the back seat of their vehicles under a bill that the Senate passed on Thursday with little debate. The measure by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, would expand the current state requirement for drivers and passengers to use seat belts in the front seat – to the back seat.
The charge for a violation would be the same in the back seat as the front – a misdemeanor subject to a fine of $25 to $50. Although some senators had misgivings, the chamber approved the legislation on a 25-6 vote, sending it to the House. Watson said 35 other states also require that back seat belts be worn by all passengers. Current Texas law requires only that passengers 14 and under wear seat belts in the rear seats of a vehicle.