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Virginia Teen Inspires Stricter Seatbelt Laws

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- A local teenager is fighting to change the seat belts laws in Virginia. 

According to statistics, seat belts save more than 15,000 lives a year. However in Virginia, wearing a seat belt is not mandatory if you are 18 and older and sitting in the backseat. Jonathon Tucker is now fighting to change this. 

When he was studying for his driving test, he realized his friends who were 18 and older and would be riding in his backseat, wouldn't have to wear seat belts and that concerned him.

Fast forward a few months later, and he was accepted into a leadership institute run by Delegate Paul Krizek, of Alexandria. Tucker says he learned a lot from the program, but he ended up teaching Krizek something too, after he came up with the framework for a bill that would require everyone in the car to wear a seat belt, no matter where they are sitting in the car.

"It surprised the heck out of me. I thought that was the law," said Delegate Paul Krizek, of Alexandria.

While you may think the work of high schooler wouldn't be taken seriously in Virginia State politics that sure wasn't this case.

"I call this Jonathan's law," said Krizek.

"It shows that anyone can propose an idea and have it taken seriously," said Tucker.

"I think that is what democracy is all about," said Krizek. This bill to require seat belts in the backseat for people 18 and older will be introduced to the Virginia General Assembly in the upcoming weeks.  

If you feel inclined, you can contact your representative and ask them to support the bill. If you need help finding your representative, click here: