The state of West Virginia’s transportation officials are working on a plan to improve West Virginia’s poor seat belt use record by allowing police officers to go directly after transgressors, according to a CBS report. But a Senator wants a get-out clause for obese drivers who have trouble buckling up.


Seat belt use is mandatory in West Virginia, but the police currently cite violators only after they have committed another traffic offence. The proposed crackdown on seat belt violators is proving controversial.


The CBS report says that Senator Mike Ross, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee said legislators are ready to support the plan to crackdown on seat belt violators only ‘if a few details can be worked out, like a waiver for people who are obese’.


Ross is quoted in the CBS article: “I’ve seen individuals have trouble getting under the steering wheel, let alone put a seat belt on.”


The report adds that around 21 percent of West Virginians are considered obese, higher than the national average of 17 percent. Federal statistics indicate that West Virginians buckle up less than half the time.