Click-it or Ticket

Minnesota was the latest state to implement a law that allows police officers to pull you over for not wearing your seatbelt. This may seem odd to some as there has been a seatbelt law on the books for several years now.

The key difference is that you can be driving perfectly fine, 55 in a 55, using your turn signal to switch lanes, leaving plenty of room between you and the car in front of you, and have up to date license tabs… but if a cop thinks he (or she) saw that you didn\’t have your seatbelt on, they can pull you over.

I\’ve mentioned in a few other posts that the older I get the more conservative I\’m getting (e.g. here). Not in the \”anti-gay marriage\” or \”pro-life\” way, but in the traditional sense over conservatism: keep government out of my personal business. While I can\’t stand today\’s Republicans and their bluster, I do worry about government becoming a nanny-state; passing law after law to take care of its citizens.

However, I was in favor of a seatbelt law when it was enacted for several reasons. First, I was much more liberal at the time and thought that people needed to be told to take care of themselves. Second, wearing a seatbelt is a no-brainer; while you may be an excellent driver, there are enough idiots out there that you can\’t control. Lastly, the law does feel like the nanny-state creeping in, but in fact, if everyone wore their seatbelts we would collective save hundreds of millions of dollars in health care dollars for injuries that comes out of our pockets. Now that\’s a law I can get behind…saving my wallet from idiots.

But this new law I can\’t support. The police already have a myriad of reasons for pulling anyone over. I see this as yet another flimsy excuse for pulling someone over and yet another revenue stream for police departments. Is squeezing out a couple of more percentage points in seatbelt usage worth opening yet another avenue for government to reach into your car and your wallet?

In my humble opinion, no.







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