PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ The Rhode Island House has approved a bill that would make the state's two-year-old seat-belt law permanent.
 
The Providence Journal reports the 52-17 vote Thursday came after a two-hour debate and two failed attempts to change the law.
 
The 2011 law allows police to stop drivers and issue tickets solely for not wearing their seat belts. Before that, the police could issue seat-belt citations only if they stopped a driver for another offense.
 
The law was set to expire June 30. Supporters say the law encourages people to wear seat belts and saves lives. Opponents say it's a costly, unnecessary infringement of personal freedoms.
 
The Senate has not yet voted on the legislation.