The Virginia House voted yesterday to reject the Senate's version of legislation that would require drivers and front-seat passengers in motor vehicles to wear seat belts.
The House voted 75 to 25 to ask the Senate to work out the differences in a conference committee. Proponents of the measure say they do not believe the House action threatens final passage of some type of mandatory seat belt law.
The House objected to Senate actions that stripped the bill of requirements that would allow police to cite seat belt violators only if the motorists are first stopped for another offense.
"The public perceives this as Orwellian," said Del. Clinton Miller (R-Shenandoah). "Let there be some valid cause to stop these people to have them charged with this violation."
The measure, which would become effective Jan. 1, 1987, has received the strong support of Gov. Gerald L. Baliles.
Motorists who violate the law would be subject to a $25 fine.
Del. J. Samuel Glasscock (D-Suffolk), author of the bill, said he opposes any requirements that would bar police from issuing citations for seat belt violations unless the motorist is stopped for an unrelated offense.
"If this is in the bill," said Glasscock, "people would be encouraged not to wear their safety belts."