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Proposed laws would require you to buckle up in the backseat, seatbelts on new buses

(WSET)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Republicans in Virginia’s House began the session Wednesday with a 51-49 majority after winning a two-month recount battle in one district and staving off legal challenges from voters over ballot problems in another.

One of the proposed bills hitting the table is one that could soon make it the law for you to buckle up in the backseat.

Currently 25 states across the U.S. require an adult passenger in the backseat of a car to put on their seatbelt.

There is mixed reaction from people about the law, some saying it should be required as it will save lives, but some saying it's dangerous.

"My dad got stuck and they had to cut the seatbelt on him, years ago, in his van 18 so after then it made me kind of wary," said Anthony Adams, a Lynchburg resident.

Under current law, only those in the front seats and people under the age of 18 have to wear seatbelts.

Amherst County Director of Public Safety, Gary Roakes admits seatbelts don't guarantee your safety.

"Have I been to accidents before where people were killed and they were belted in? 'Yes,'" Roakes said. "The people in the backseat could be thrown against people in the front seat causing neck and spinal injuries as well."

In his 34 years of working Roakes has been to a number of car accidents and he believes everyone should be buckled up.

"I've seen more people killed that weren't wearing seatbelts than I have people that did have seatbelts on that were killed," he said.

There is also a bill proposed that would require each "new" public school bus purchased to be equipped with a seat belts, older buses would be grandfathered in.

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