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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

Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.

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