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Lawmakers may extend Connecticut seatbelt law to backseat

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HARTFORD— Connecticut lawmakers are considering whether to expand the state’s 33-year-old seatbelt law to include everyone riding in a vehicle.

A bill that unanimously cleared the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee on Monday would require all back-seat passengers to buckle up, instead of mandating that only front-seat passengers and children under age 16 years old — no matter where they’re sitting — wear restraints.

The state’s Department of Public Health is advocating for the legislation, noting that more than 100 of the average 270 motor vehicle crash-related deaths that occur in Connecticut each year could be saved if everyone in the vehicle wore a seatbelt.

Recently testifying on behalf of Connecticut’s two AAA automobile clubs, Fran Mayko said 29 states and Washington, D.C., currently require back-seat passengers to wear seatbelts.

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