The Maryland Senate, for the third time, delayed its consideration of a bill yesterday that would require motorists to wear seat belts.

Although the first two delays were caused by opponents of the bill, yesterday's was requested by a supporter, Sen. Leo Green (D-Prince George's).

He wanted to offer a last-minute amendment that would allow police to cite motorists for seat belt violations only if they are stopped for other traffic offenses.

Chances for the bill's passage are considered dim because a House committee killed a version of the measure last week.

But Green hopes his amendment will make the bill more palatable to the House members because, he said, "it would remove the concern they had over abuse" of police power.

Meanwhile, a few senators got a chance to spar over the bill.

Sen. Julian L. Lapides (D-Baltimore) said, "I suppose the real reason I'm against the bill is I don't like people to tell me what to do. We probably shouldn't drink but I must confess I do that. We tried to outlaw alcohol but you see what happened."

Sen. Decatur Trotter (D-Prince George's) countered: "You can take any bill and say that. When Wyatt Earp rode into town he made everybody hang up their guns . . . .

"When I first came to the legislature it was legal to carry a sawed-off shotgun; you can't do that anymore."