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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Broke states turn to exploiting seat belts for fast cash

I've never liked mandatory seat belt laws. For one thing, it should be a matter of personal preference whether one chooses to wear a seat belt or not. In my mind such legislation embodies all the worst aspects of the "nanny state". I understand that statistically, seat belts do tend to save lives. But I have also known plenty of people for whom seat belts are physically uncomfortable, because of medical conditions or something similar. My grandmother, f'rinstance. Whenever she got into a car she simply looped the belt around her shoulder and rode like that (something that I'll admit to doing every so often as well :-)

And then there are those who have argued that seat belt laws have nothing to do with safety at all: that they are designed to be reliable revenue streams for the states that have them. That case is certainly bolstered by the number of states that want to empower law enforcement officers to pull over drivers simply for not wearing seat belts. And this time the various governors and other officials are admitting that it's because their states "don't have enough money".

(If this is going on in the state of Washington I suppose that if you don't buckle up the state can also take your DNA as a consequence.)

The only other observation that I know to make from this, is that government at all levels is running out of funding. The entire system is beginning to buckle beneath its own weight and simply spending and looking for ways to maintain that spending, isn't going to maintain it for much longer. Sooner than later, it's gonna come crashing down.

Maybe it'll be a good thing. We can start fresh and clean again. And do away with so many of these laws that have nothing at all to do with protecting us and our rights. Scrapping the seat belt laws would be a good start...


Anonymous said...

More evidence that things are going to get worse in this country before they get better.

Ol' You-Know-Who