A Few Words on Seatbelts with a Nod Towards Civil Disobedience
I’ve been faithfully wearing my seatbelt since I was the age of twenty. I did not adopt this habit because of a car crash or government nannying. I adopted the seatbelt habit because I thought about the pros and cons of non-seatbelt use versus seatbelt use, and arrived at the conclusion that utilizing my seatbelt had more benefits than drawbacks.
When I adopted the seatbelt habit, there were no state imposed directives which required seatbelts to be used, and thus no fines could be levied if one was stopped for some other traffic infraction and you were found to be not wearing your seatbelt. A police officer could only recommend that you wear a seatbelt, but could not force you to wear a seatbelt.
Over the past ten years, more and more states have enacted mandatory seatbelt use laws, and yesterday evening, I saw a teevee advertisement which was crowing about the fact that, now, every state in the U.S. requires seatbelts to be worn. The ad also crowed about the fact that if you are not wearing a seatbelt, every single state can now pull you over, ticket, and fine you for not wearing a seatbelt.
Because of this, I have begun to not wear my seatbelt when making short local runs around town. Though I must consciously think about this because my habit of automatically buckling up is so ingrained. Do I run multiple risks by adopting this non-usage attitude? Indeed I do. I run the risk of being ticketed for the simple fact of not wearing my seatbelt. I also run the increased risk of injury, if I am in an accident where wearing my seatbelt would be beneficial to the wholeness of my bodily health. But damn it, I am not going to be TOLD to wear my seatbelt.
I am also considering modifying the seatbelts in my old Jeep so that only the lap portion of my seatbelt functions. I am considering this for the simple fact of testing the limits of the system. Will I be pulled over because I don’t have a shoulder belt? It’s possible. Will I be ticketed? I don’t think I could be, if I was wearing the lap belt, but I still could be, and it would be interesting to see just how far these “Click It or Ticket” enforcers would take their mandate.
Wearing your seatbelt only makes good sense, but I do not need, or want, the state telling me that I must wear my seatbelt. It’s none of their damn business.
THANK YOU! I have said the same thing many times! And I (guiltily) will pull out of my parking space without my seatbelt…..then I worry and hurry to put it on as I drive over 15 MPH! =)Posted by Ally Eskin on 05/29 at 03:27 PM
You’re not sticking it to the man by not wearing your belt.