Updated: Sunday, 12 Jul 2009, 12:00 AM EDT
Published : Sunday, 12 Jul 2009, 12:00 AM EDT
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The tragic death of Army Sgt. Mark Ecker, who died in a car crash while not wearing a seatbelt is shedding light on seatbelt safety.
The national highway traffic safety administration reports that in 2008, Massachusetts had the worst rate of seatbelt use in the country, with only 67% of drivers regularly buckling up.
A push is underway on beacon hill to change that percentage.
Right now, police can only ticket you for not wearing a seatbelt if they pull you over for something else. If the law is changed, it would become a 'primary offense,' meaning you could be pulled over simply for not wearing one. It's a controversial proposition for some local drivers.
"There's a lot of things that you should be free about, like not wearing a seatbelt, or not paying car insurance if you don't want to," said Vitaliy Tsvor.
"Because I wore my seatbelt when I had a bad accident last year in August, my life was saved...because of the seatbelt," said Marika Theodorakis.
The proposed seatbelt law change is now 'in committee.'
No word yet as to when beacon hill lawmakers will vote on it.