Out of Control Policy Blog

Click It response

I've highlighted some responses to my "Click It or Ticket" article, which criticizes seat belt laws.

Some readers noted the intersection of safety and money:

[S]eatbelt laws were inspired bythat root of all evil - money. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the insurance industry was threatening to push rates up more and more if mandatory seat belt laws were not enacted. Legislators obliged. I'm not especially upset by that bargain, but the dimwits who run these seatbelt campaigns have now turned it into a moral crusade.

And:

[I]f the government REALLY wanted to promote highway safety, just imagine if there was a $10,000 fine for anyone exceeding the speed limit, running a red light, causing an accident, etc. All these types of behaviors would dramatically decrease overnight. Traffic fatalities would decrease by orders of magnitude. So if the government is not opposed to fining us for our own safety, why don't they fine us enough to actually deter us from dangerous behavior? Because it would work too well. No-one would break the laws, and so no-one would be paying fines. Although it would save lives, that is not the point of the traffic safety laws. They are cash-cows for lawmakers.

And on the effort to mandate entertainment interlocks, where your car starts only if you buckle up:

[H]ave none of these cheese brains ever been a teen-age boy with a toothsome girl, parked beside a road someplace? They want them to have music to stimulate romance only when both parties are immobilized? ... I'd try to find out whether the members of the committee that passed this along are mostly the parents of teen-age girls. I suspect an agenda here.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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