Michigan police use PR to buckle new seat belt law

LANSING, MI: When a new state mandatory-seat belt-use law kicks in on March 10, the Michigan State Police will find themselves forced to confront a major PR challenge - especially with the African-American community.

LANSING, MI: When a new state mandatory-seat belt-use law kicks in on March 10, the Michigan State Police will find themselves forced to confront a major PR challenge - especially with the African-American community.

LANSING, MI: When a new state mandatory-seat belt-use law kicks in

on March 10, the Michigan State Police will find themselves forced to

confront a major PR challenge - especially with the African-American

community.



The new law allows cops to stop and ticket unbuckled drivers as well as

cite them for carrying children under four years old who aren’t in

approved child-safety seats. Previously, a seat belt use law was in

place, but police weren’t allowed to stop violators for that infraction

alone. The fine remains dollars 25.



The African-American community fears the new law will be used as a

legitimate excuse to stop drivers for ’DWB’ - driving while black, a

longstanding complaint. The PR problem is exacerbated by the fact that

surveys show young adult black males are among the most infrequent users

of seat belts.



The state police have already launched a publicity campaign in

conjunction with child safety advocates that emphasizes the importance

of proper restraints, especially for children.



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