A blog by Bryan Pryor. Random thoughts on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Also contains good technical bits to help you along the way.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Seatbelt Enforcement in Michigan Causes Crash

Here's a big pet peeve of mine: Click it or Ticket enforcement, AKA Seatbelt Enforcement.

In general, I disagree with ticketing people for not wearing seatbelts. Granted, I always wear mine & fully understand the benefits of wearing one. Also, I fully agree that the driver should be responsible to ensure all passengers under 16 wear their seatbelts, but that's my agreement ends.

Once a person is 16 and old enough to drive a car on their own, I believe it is their own right/responsibility to choose whether to buckle up. Here's the bottom line: A person who chooses NOT to buckle up is only putting themselves at risk. They are not harming other people. In the event of a car crash, them not wearing a seatbelt does not put other people at risk.


If a person chooses to put themselves at risk, that is their own right. Just like sky-diving, downhill skiing, or riding a bicycle. In all aspects of life, there are risks . Using valuable police time to identify and ticket these people is in NO WAY protecting & serving the public. What a load of crap. It's just the easiest revenue generation that these cops can find.

The reason I chose to complain about this now is that this morning, on my way to work, I drove through a seatbelt enforcement zone. No, I didn't get ticketed. As I said, I wear a seatbelt. What caught my attention wasn't even the 6 police cruzers with people pulled over. It was the accident that this 'enforcement zone' had caused. Sure enough, a lady in a Ford Excursion rear-ended some poor sap in a Honda Civic. No doubt, she was distracted by the numerous cops pulling out in traffic to keep the public safe by removing all those dangerous unbelted drivers from the road.

This is where I draw the line: When the actions of the people we pay to 'protect' us end up causing more harm than good, it is time for reasonable citizens to say "Enough." We should not allow this to happen any more. My recommendation is to remove the ability for police to pull over cars for seatbelts as a primary infraction. End this useless seatbelt enforcement, and get the cops back to work preventing crime.


Anonymous Rob said...

Not wearing a seatbelt has a high economic cost for you and me. Besides reducing deaths, they also reduce the severity of injuries, which results in lower auto insurance rates for you and me.

They also reduce our taxes, because the government eventually ends up paying for those who drive without belts and who also don't have adequate money or insurance to pay for the more severe injuries they're likely to suffer. (Brain injuries are much more common. Treatment is typically very expensive and it sometimes requires lifelong care in a nursing home.)

Unnecessary death or severe injuries can also financially ruin families and cause great emotional harm.

So, even though the enforcement of seat-belt laws costs money, and in this case caused a minor accident, I think it makes economic sense and benefits all of us.

January 2, 2010 8:29 AM

Blogger Bryan said...

Rob, I agree with you completely about the fact that seatbelts reduce the severity of injuries.

However, I will have to disagree with you on the economics of the issue. Having lived in states before & after primary seatbelt laws were enacted, I can tell you that neither my insurance rates nor my taxes have decreased since the inception of these primary enforcement laws. In fact, both have gone up quite substantially.

Now I know, you'll come back with the standard, "they could have risen more..." but I'm not buying it. I see this as just another way for insurance companies to profit, and local municipalities are loving the easy money that comes from enforcing this as a primary offense.

January 3, 2010 1:43 AM

Anonymous Zack said...

I like the concept that Police can make easy money on this infraction and are less temped to quota me on a speeding ticket.

Also, I am surprised that insurance companies aren't putting "if you don't wear a seatbelt - you pay the costs" type of clause. That would get people wearing seatbelts. A few news stories on the 100K plus bills rolling into Joe or Jane NoSeatbelt and their bankruptcy proceeding quickens the issue.

And thanks for the Excel VBA stuff, super!

March 19, 2010 10:24 AM


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