by Sam Clanton
BRANSON, Mo. – A proposed city code amendment in Branson would allow police to pull over drivers for the sole reason of not wearing a seat belt.
Currently, failure to wear a seat belt is a secondary offense, requiring an additional violation for officers to initiate a stop.
The proposal created some debate and a tied vote among aldermen, requiring a deciding vote from the mayor on Dec. 12.
Alderman Kevin McConnell voiced opposition to the amendment, stating it will likely result in unintended consequences, such as people having to prove in court they were wearing seat belts…
Alderman Mike Booth stated he understands where McConnell is coming from, but he sees this as an enforcement issue for police…
Cris Bohinc, Bob Simmons and ultimately Mayor Karen Best joined Booth in voting yes on the amendment. Besty Seay and Rick Castillon voted no along with McConnell.
UPDATE: During a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 18, the proposed ordinance failed on second reading. Cris Bohinc did not attend the meeting and did not cast a vote, so the motion failed by a vote of 3 to 2. Per statute, the mayor can only vote to break a tie.