Buckle Up It’s The Law


The Senate on Thursday sent a bill to require all passengers in a vehicle to wear a seat belt to Gov. Phil Bryant to sign.

Senate Bill 2724, makes not wearing a seat belt, regardless of age or location in the car, a misdemeanor, punishable by a $25 ticket. The driver would be responsible for paying the fine.

The bill, known as Harlie’s Law, is named for Harlie Ann “Brooke” Oswalt. The 15-year-old from Potts Camp and Tristan Brag, 17, were killed in a November traffic accident in Marshall County, when their vehicle was hit from the rear. They were backseat passengers in the vehicle and were thrown from it when it ran off the road.

Current law only requires the driver, front seat passenger, and children under the age of 7 wear restraints.

Seventeen senators voted against the bill. In the past, conservatives expressed concerns the proposal was government overreach. Mississippi ranks slightly below the national average of seat belt use.

The state Department of Transportation website says two of three people killed in auto accidents in Mississippi were not wearing seat belts.