Thursday, January 10, 2008

What's your opinion on... belt laws? Should the government mandate seat belt use? (I'm talking about for self-sufficient adults here.)

Take into account that
a) people who aren't wearing their seat belts are actually able to hurt others. It's very, very rare and unlikely, but it can happen.
b) people who are wearing their seat belts can be hurt by them, sometime fatally, in accidents - also rare and unlikely.



mayberry said...

I don't think it should be mandated. If you want to risk it, it's your business. That doesn't mean that I don't wish more people wore them, I do. I have to BEG hubby to wear a seatbelt - our state laws have had no effect on his habits.

Aidan's mom said...

I think it should be mandated and here is why. Who is left to incur the costs of medical treatment for uninsured people not wearing their seat belts? and me. Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer. I feel the same way about helmet laws.

Now if you want to sign something saying that you do not expect to receive treatment if you get into a crash without your seatbelt...well that is another story.

From the Doghouse said...

Yes. I don't want my rates going up because of someone else's stupidity.

Watercolor said...

Yes. It affects insurance rates for cars and health care. Be stupid on your own dime.

Susan said...

I'm an avid, obsessive seat belt wearer. Never leave home without it. Would love for everyone to wear them. But I don't think it should be a law. We pay more to take care of uninsured people who smoke too much or drink too much than we do for people who don't wear seat belts. Can you imagine a law mandating a ban on the private use of cigarettes and booze? It's just not a good enough reason to mandate personal risk choices that don't harm others. Besides, I can't imagine the law has motived anybody to buckle up that wasn't already willing to do it. There are just bigger things our gov't needs to worry about.

That said, my dad will never wear a seat belt. He watched a good friend burn to death in an accident because his seat belt got stuck and he couldn't get out of his truck. I had a friend die in high school because he DIDN'T get thrown from his car when it flipped, then smashed into a tree. Do I think that's a good reason to not wear a seat belt? No. But I'm one of the people willing to wear it without a law telling me I have to. Do I like the fact Dad won't wear one? No. But he's an adult and it's not my choice to make for him.

Blake and Lilly's Momma said...

Geez, Stacey... you have to make me THINK? LOL :)

I agree with susan that folks who don't want to wear a seatbelt aren't likely to wear it just because it's a law.

My parents NEVER wore theirs... until I started to drive (yeah yeah...) but it was because I wouldn't start the car until EVERYONE was buckled up.
Then it became habit for them and they wore them even when I wasn't in the car :) For the record.. they didn't say "I love you" until I started it either.

I have a cousin who was in a motorcycle accident...well, dirt bike really. He had his helmet on... he didn't bother to buckle it... crashed in a field... helmet fell off.. and he suffered severe brain damage. He had to re-learn if he were an infant all over again.

I believe that there are far more lives saved by seat belt use, than lost. So, now that I have rambled on and on, I think seat belt use should be mandated... so long as it's followed up on. Just like (hope I don't open a new can of worms) the speed limit in construction zones. Man do I piss people off when they are behind my 45 mph ass! LOL :)


PS... how's your project with the hospital coming along??

Brou HahHah said...

Gummint is best when it governs least. However, since states and insurance companies are in cohoots, we're gonna get hosed on this one too.

Susan said...

I gotta wonder why Stacey stirred this pot. Hmm...

I TOTALLY agree that wearing seat belts saves more lives than it costs. I also think good nutrition and regular exercise saves more lives than Cheetoes and a Playstation. PLEASE don't let them pass a law against Cheetoes! =)

Seriously though, police officers have enough to do without having to monitor personal responsibility. Education and pressure from drivers like Jo will have more impact on people than a law that that barely gets enforced. We're fighting the problem with the wrong ammunition.

And Jo, I WISH I could do that to my dad, but he has never once let me drive with him in the car.

jesusthroughmary said...

Of course, we incur the costs of medical treatment for insured people not wearing their seat belts as well, because the government also mandates that we all have auto insurance.

I actually just had this discussion 3 hours ago, and it seems clear to me that a particular behavior's benefit to an individual is not a sufficient reason for government to legislate that behavior. Smoking kills more people, it could be argued, than does lack of wearing seat belts, and yet it is legal (although not for much longer the way the People's Republic of New Jersey is going).

Just because something is worth doing doesn't mean it's worth having the government do it. Let's take some responsibility on ourselves.

Melinda Barton said...

Okay, I'm split.

I think child seat belts/car seats properly installed and used should DEFINITELY be mandated. We can lump that in with child endangerment/neglect/abuse laws. I don't think parental rights includes endangering your child's life needlessly just because you're a moron.

For adults, I'm torn. Part of me says yes, b/c we do in fact pay for people who get injured b/c they weren't wearing their seat belts and not just for insurance. More likely than not, even an insured person severely injured will end up on the public dole eventually.

But I agree that some people aren't going to buckle up b/c they assume they're going to get away with it. Then again, people commit all sorts of crimes b/c they think they're going to get away with it. We don't just stop making them crimes.

I'm very discombobulated on the adult issue, so I'm going to go with "I'm not sure."

From the Doghouse said...

I had a wreck several years ago. Without my seatbelt, I wouldn't be here to type all of my smart-donkey responses.

Sandi said...

I think it should be mandated, but not much else at all. I don't want the government telling me what I can and can't do in my own time, but I dunno. I like this law. I covered the crime beat for two years and saw a few bodies. Y'all don't want to see what can happen when you're in a bad wreck w/out a seatbelt. I NEVER want that to happen to me or anyone I love.