For years, seat belt use rates in Wyoming, which currently has a secondary enforcement law, have been among the lowest in the nation.

But Wyoming Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeremy Beck says that could change should the Legislature pass Senate File 11, a bill that would allow law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle and ticket people solely for not wearing a seat belt.

"If they were to have a law that passed that way, I would imagine a motorist would be a little bit more tentative to making sure that they are buckled up before they head out to their destination," said Beck.

According to patrol data, six fatalities on Wyoming's highways so far this year and 47 in 2020 were people not wearing a seat belt.

"Any law enforcement officer will tell you if they've been on the road for quite some time, there has been lots of crashes where folks would have lived if they would have been wearing a seat belt," said Beck.

Lawmakers are expected to take further action on Senate File 11 when they reconvene on March 1.

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