Saturday, January 20, 2007
I Want to Wear My Seat Belt, Thank You!
I think it's a very good idea for people to wear their seat belts while driving. But I'm not sure how it is the government's business to require me to wear my seat belt. Current Utah law requires those under the age of 19 to do so. Pending legislation would require everyone to wear a seat belt. Why should such a common-sense driving accoutrement be a legal requirement?
Current Utah law requires those aged 18 and younger to wear a seat belt; if a police officer sees someone in this age category not wearing a seat belt, they can issue a citation on the spot. For those older than age 18, another violation must occur before a citation can be issued for failure to wear a seat belt. That may be about to change if Democrat Senator Pat Jones' bill passes the Utah legislature.
Why is government in the business of requiring you to wear your seat belt? In their response to Governor Huntsman's State of the State address, Democrats expressed that their main concern is for the welfare of the individual. I'm not sure how taking away the individual's choice increases his welfare.
Senator Jones' bill seems to have gained more support simply because it was amended to expire in 2010. So now it becomes an experiment not to see whether it constitutes good government, but how many lives it supposedly saves. We'll never really know, and besides, that's not the point. While we're at it, why don't we outlaw skydiving, hang gliding, and motor vehicle racing?
I wear my seat belt almost everywhere I go. The only time I don't is maybe when I'm going across town to run an errand. Ask my kids how many creative ways I have developed to harp on them, especially the younger ones, to put on their seat belts. I agree with the mantra--seat belts save lives. It's just that government doesn't have any business getting into my car with me.
It's pretty obvious that wearing my seat belt is the safer thing to do. I don't need government to tell me that. I don't need them to require me to do it either.