Assembly committee kills seat belt bill

A Senate-approved bill that would have allowed police in Nevada to stop any driver they believe isn't wearing a seat belt died Thursday in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Seat belts are required in Nevada, but existing law prohibits police from stopping a driver for no reason other than a suspicion that the driver isn't belted.

Critics of SB116 said that it interferes with personal liberty and may encourage racial profiling. They also said that existing law should be enough to urge people to buckle up.

In an attempt to keep SB116 alive, Assemblyman Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, suggested an amendment that would limit the new law to Clark County.

"If folks are interested in going that route, I would make a motion to amend and do pass, and just make it apply to populations over 400,000," Manendo said.

But Transportation Chairman Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, said that it would be unfair to amend the measure at this point because lawmakers and the public wouldn't have the opportunity to fully debate the changes.

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