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Maine: Big Seat Belt Fines Proposed, Opposed
Maine's governor wants to nearly triple the fine for not wearing a seat belt.

Maine Governor John Baldacci
Maine's Governor, John Baldacci (D), has proposed to triple the fine for not wearing a seat belt in the state, but police chiefs are resisting his plans. The Maine Association of Police Chiefs support allowing police to pull over a motorist merely for not wearing a seat belt, but balked at the governor's plan to nearly triple the fine from $65 to $212.

Police chiefs cited the increasing hostility of motorists toward the police following a recent increase in the fine for speeding offenses. "The people we're giving the ticket to are starting to get upset and get violent and angry in their demeanor and starting to swear," said Brunswick Police Chief Jerry Hinton. "It's almost like we're holding court on the street."

Baldacci's budget banks on an additional $650,000 revenue over two years from increased traffic fines.

Article Excerpt:
"We feel that that kind of a jump . . . is a little exorbitant," said Brunswick Police Chief Jerry Hinton, the association's president. "If (drivers) were stopped for speeding and fined because they didn't have their seat belt on, that's a week's pay."
Source: Police chiefs don't like big seat belt fines (Portland Press Herlad, 3/24/2005)

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