ATLANTA — Georgia should require all adult passengers in motor vehicles to wear seatbelts, not just those in the front seat, a state Senate study committee recommended Nov. 25.
The state’s seatbelt law, adopted in 1988, originally applied only to front-seat occupants and exempted pick-up trucks from the requirement. The law was changed in 1993 to require that minors be restrained no matter where they are sitting, and the pick-up truck exemption was eliminated in 2010.
A six-page report the study committee approved last Monday calls for extending the back-seat seatbelt requirement to both adults as well as minors. Thirty states already require all rear-seat passengers to be in seatbelts.
During several meetings, the study committee heard testimony that wearing seatbelts not only provides greater protection to rear-seat passengers but also reduces the risk of injury to those in the front seat. A 2004 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) determined that exposure to unbelted occupants increases