There were just as many personal stories in support of the bill. Both Delegates Patty Smith, D-Lewis, and Erikka Storch, R-Ohio, fought back tears as they talked of loved ones lost in crashes.
Smith said her brother died before the start of this session because he was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from a car during an accident. Thursday marked the 13-year anniversary of the death of Storch's father: she said he died in an airplane accident, but the loss a family feels in any accident is equally unbearable.
Bill supporters said the idea of infringing on liberty was a little short-sighted. House Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley, D-Harrison, said laws already infringe on a person's rights when it comes to guns or certain types of speech. Failure to wear a seat belt affects more than the person who makes that decision, he said.
"Your freedom is going to cost me money because my health insurance rates are going to go up," he said.
The bill does not prohibit a person from making the choice not to wear a seat belt, said Fleischauer. If people don't want to wear it, they can pay a $25 fine if caught.
The bill moves to the Senate, which has repeatedly approved similar measures.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, has sponsored a similar bill for the past five years and was optimistic earlier in the session the time was right for passage.
"It's great. I think it's a great day for public safety on our roads," Palumbo said.
There are eight new senators, and in the past support for the bill was not unanimous. But Palumbo thinks it's pretty unlikely there's enough opposition in the Senate to defeat the measure.
"You'd essentially have to have all the new people against it to make it interesting," Palumbo said.
Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, said the bill was never really contentious in his chamber.
"I don't expect it to be a problem," Kessler said.
Currently, 32 states have laws that allow police to pull over a driver for not wearing a seat belt. There are 17 states where the law is a secondary offense, like West Virginia. One state, New Hampshire, has neither.
As a secondary offense, it is still against the law not to wear a seat belt.
Writer Zack Harold contributed to this story.