Seat Belt Laws

Topics: Seat belt, Law, Crash test dummy Pages: 5 (1545 words) Published: May 6, 2008
Seat Belt Laws
While reading this paper it is important that you learn about seat belts and the new seat belt laws that plague our country today. It is crucial that you see why seat belt laws need abolished for adults. George Cayley first invented the seat belt in 1840. The first American patent was given in 1885 to Edward J. Claghorn. Nils Bohlin of Sweden created our modern day three-point seat belts in 1959. The standard issue for automobiles in 1964 had front seat belts only. In 1968, the standard automobile had both front and back seat belts (Mary Bellis). Seat belt laws are laws that enforce or require the wearing of a seat belt while in a motor vehicle. On July 1, 2007, Indiana lawmakers changed the seat belt law to where every person in a car, truck, or SUV needs to be strapped down in their own vehicle. Forty-nine states have seat belt laws for adults and in many of those states, the police are allowed to pull over motorist whose only crime is not wearing a seat belt. The only state without a seat belt law for adults is New Hampshire, which is called the live free or die state. New Hampshire does require children up to the age of eighteen to wear seat belts, but not adults. The state stood to get a 3.7 million dollar federal highway grant if the law for adult seat belts would have passed. The Republican Senator for the state Bob Clegg said, “I happen to be proud of the fact that here in New Hampshire, we make our own decisions. If you want to wear a seat belt, you are free to do so. If you want to risk your life by not wearing one, it is not the government’s responsibility to force you to.” Democratic Senator Lou D’Allesandro agrees with Bob Clegg. D’Allesandro said, “Citizens, not government, should not make the choice whether to buckle up” (Norma Love).

“Click It or Ticket is a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mobilization campaign aimed at increasing the use of seat belts among young people in the United States. The campaign relies heavily on targeted advertising aimed at teens and young adults” (Wikipedia).Click it or Ticket comes around once a year from May 19 to June 1 where police from over 12,000 enforcement agencies find violators and fine them. The fine in Indiana for not wearing your seat belt is twenty-five dollars. The highest fine for not wearing your seat belt is in Washington. They charge eighty-six dollars. The state with the lowest fine for this silly violation is Idaho, where they only charge five dollars. The weighted average fine of all states is twenty-five dollars and eighty cents (U.S. Department of Transportation). The fines for this little offence are absurd, eighty-six dollars for making a choice to live how you want, and five dollars is a complete waste of the officer’s time and the time of the person who is receiving the ticket. Indiana police are on the roads everyday looking to pull someone over for not wearing their seat belt or wearing one the improper way. The correct way to wear your seat belt is “the shoulder belt should be worn closely against the body, over the shoulder, and across the chest, never under the arm. The lap belt should be firm against the body and low across the hips” (Ministry of Transportation). “During the “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign law enforcement officers statewide in Indiana cited nearly 20,000 drivers and passengers for not complying with Indiana’s new primary seat belt law” (Allen County Sheriffs Office).

A state mandatory seat belt law infringes on a person’s individual personal rights as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The law is an unwarranted intrusion by government into the personal lives of citizens; denies the right to determine a person’s own individual personal safety and health standards for one’s own body, the ultimate private property, and forcefully mandates the personal safety and health...
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