What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Consumer Protection : S. 1072. Highway Funding/Vote to Link Federal Highway Funding to States' Seatbelt Use Rates.
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S. 1072. Highway Funding/Vote to Link Federal Highway Funding to States' Seatbelt Use Rates.
senate Roll Call 9     Feb 11, 2004
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

In 2002, over half of the 43,000 persons killed on the nation's highways were not wearing their seatbelt. During debate on legislation to provide $318 billion in federal funding for highways and highway safety programs, Senator Warner (R-VA) offered an amendment which would have required states either to prove a ninety percent seat belt use rate (through surveys or other experimental data) or to enact seat belt laws by 2006 in order to obtain the full amount of federal highway funding available to them in the underlying legislation. Progressives supported Warner's amendment as a way to protect drivers from automobile-related injures. Automobile accidents, Progressives noted, are the leading cause of death for Americans age 2 to 34. Conservatives opposed the Warner amendment. In their view, denying highway funds to states was the wrong approach to insure that seatbelts are being used. Providing a "carrot" in the form of additional highway funding, they argued, would more effectively encourage seatbelt use than a "stick" approach of denying federal highway funds. The subject of this vote was a motion to table (strike down) the Warner amendment. Progressives voted against the motion to table based on their support for Warner's measure but the tabling motion was adopted on a 57-41 vote and Warner's amendment was not included in the underlying highway funding bill.

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