Monday, November 10, 2008

Debate: Seat Belt Laws

Posted by Mandy at 10:07 AM
This is a debate that even my husband and I have had, so I thought others might enjoy telling their views on the topic.

Debate: Are seat belt laws fair? Do you feel the government has the right to tell you that you must wear your seat belt or face a fine, or do you believe it should be each individual's choice to take the risk to not wear his or her seat belt?

Different note: As soon as my computer will upload it, I will have a picture of our newest foster dog. A gorgeous, white, Border Collie mix.


Rosjuane on Monday, 10 November, 2008 said...

I think that seat belt laws are in place for a good reason, but I still don't like it. My kids yes!!! But me no. I mean I'm not hurting an inocent person by not wearing them so why should they say that I have to. I understand that they save lives, but I still think it should be our choice. Once you are over a certain age you should have a choice. Glad debates are back!!

Ana on Monday, 10 November, 2008 said...

Honestly, I don't agree with the seat belt law. I used to work in the automobile insurance industry. I have seen countless situation where individuals got trapped in their cars because of seat belts. Although, supporters of the law say there are countless stories where a seat belt could have saved a person's life, I'm not convinced there are more pro stories than con.

Mandy on Monday, 10 November, 2008 said...

I have completely mixed feelings on the seat belt laws. I need to talk to Clayton again, and I will.. but I do know that MOST of the fatality wrecks he works, the people would not have been killed if they would have been wearing their seat belts. The State Police accident reports (across AR) show the same data. Seat belts, hands down, usually SAVE lives and prevent serious injuries. I, personally, would never go anywhere without mine on. Anyone that rides in my car also has to wear theirs... I don't care how old they are. lol

Of course, children's seat belt laws are fantastic and if parents aren't caring enough to make their children buckle up on their own accord, then the law absolutely should step in and make them. No doubt!

Here is my problem. Though, I would never argue that seat belts are GOOD and that everyone should wear them, I have trouble with the idea that the law says we MUST wear them. If we want to be risky with our own lives, does the law have a right to say we cannot?

It is strange to me that riding in a car without a seatbelt is illegal, yet smoking is legal. Smoking is known to cause horrible, and fatal, diseases like cancer and emphazema.. yet it is perfectly legal to smoke as many packs a day as you want. Isn't that risky behavior? My husband likes to work a job that often times proves to be incredibly dangerous... should the law ban him from that as well?

Clayton is very supportive of seat belt laws. He basically has said, in the past, that riding in a car without a seat belt on has proved to be so dangerous that if people won't buckle up themselves, the law has seen fit to make them. I agree... only complete idiots (sorry! lol) would ever be in a car without a seat belt... please, come see some accident pics if you want proof of that, but I am still not convinced that the law should be able to MAKE us wear them. It doesn't affect anyone else's safety (like speeding and drunk driving do)... so what gives?

Me on Monday, 10 November, 2008 said...

First off--that dog looks so much like mine (in shape and expressions) that I know I would love it! Alas we are a one dog home.

Seatbelts. I'm a big supporter of civil liberties and allowing people to make their own decisions as opposed to having the government tell us what to do (ie, I'm pro-choice--it's our own body).

However, as someone currently studying public health, the cost to society of people who do not wear seatbelts, motorcycle helmets, etc. is massive and I see the reasoning from that standpoint.

I guess I'd rather their be education campaigns on such issues instead of laws.

Shelley on Monday, 10 November, 2008 said...

I think in most cases, it protects a lot of people that may not buckle up if it wasn't for the law. I am a HUGE car seat/booster seat/ seatbelt advocate though. I kept my kids in 5 pt harnesses till kindergarten. I am picky about that kinda thing.

A state trooper that worked my wreck in 2000 (where I was head on'd and my car was totalled, with my brand new infant in the back seat) that state trooper told me he'd "never unbuckled a dead body in the 17 yrs he was a trooper."
I was buckled up.

Sun-Kissed Savages on Tuesday, 11 November, 2008 said...

Seatbelts are a must in our van. We don't start the engine until everyone is wearing one. My uncle is a doctor, and has seen more than his share of horrible disfigurations and deaths because people simply would not buckle up.

That said, I tend to think that the less the government is involved, the better off we are.

HOWEVER, when it comes to children, someone has to protect them. If their parents won't do that, then big brother steps up. Which is why we have an age to work full-time, buy alcohol, cigarettes. I think seatbelts should be law for anyone under 18, but after that adults can just choose to be stupid.

And, just for the record, I am NOT pro-"choice"...because, again, we are not just harming ourselves. That is NOT just your body. That is a child. And when the government should be stepping up to protect children in that case, they don't because it is inconvenient.

If an adult wants to harm themselves or risk their life, go for it. But when people hurt children in any way, that should not be tolerated.

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