Thursday, March 29, 2012

Seat Belt Laws?

Many people argue that the mandatory usage of a seatbelt is somewhat unconstitutional because no one else can be harmed from an individual not wearing a seatbelt.   Although this may be true, it is still the responsibility of our state legislatures to make laws regulated safety equipment.  With the strong enforcement of this law, many people are arguing that municipalities are using it to create revenue.  One of my friends is a Normal Police Officer and said that he Sergeants will ask them to try and make time to look particularly for seatbelts.  Even with that being said I do not feel that seat belt laws are created to produce revenue.  We hear this many times within small towns because the people are frustrated with the police enforcing this law now.  I live in a town of 1,000 people and our police are now beginning to enforce this law.  Many people are upset with the enforcement as they explain they were only driving four blocks within city limits.  People are outraged by the $75 dollar ordaniance tickets that are being issued; however, they are neglecting to realize the potential fatality they are avoiding.

The video above is excellent at depicting the arguments made by those who oppose seat belt laws.

Many people also are arguing the change to the law as of January 1, 2011 which mandates passengers in the back to wear seatbelts.  Prior to this law change, adults who were the back seat of a motor vehicle did not have the wear seat belt binding they were over 18 years old.  I think this is a necessary addition to the law because it is logical; why would someone not have to wear a seatbelt in the backseat if they are mandated to in the front seat.  The risk of ejection is almost parallel when comparing ejection from a windshield to a rear window.  That is not to mention that in a large majority of accidents passengers are ejected through side windows rather than windshields.  Also, in the event of a rollover, other passenger can be affected and injured by a flying body. 

Notice how far and fiercely this man gets thrown after he falls asleep at the wheel.

 Campaigns such as “click it or ticket” and “drivesafeillinois” have been devised to bring light to the issue of seat belts.  We see these campaigns in places like state/county fairs, school functions, and driver educations programs.  In my high school, the state police game with a seat belt “convincer” which was a sled type machine that students rode down a slope.  The sled was stopped by a metal box and was designed to show students what the impact of a 10 mph head on collision would feel like.  As I currently work in Fire/EMS I can say that three of the four fatalities I have seen were endured by people who had been ejected from a vehicle.  Many people argue that seatbelts can also harm you in an accident in some cases; however, I have yet to see any accidents where I thought the patient would have been better off not wearing a seatbelt.  What do you think: do you agree that seat belt laws are enforced to create revenue? do you agree with the laws currently in place? and how do you feel officer's should go about enforcing seat belt laws?
Below are some interesting links that explain seat belt laws in Illinois and the fines associated with violating the law.


  1. I believe that the seat belt laws are necessary in preserving life. They do save lives and they are safe. But on the other hand, no matter what, if an individual does not want to wear a seat belt then he/she will not. It is their choice, like it is their choice to eat McDonald's every day; both have risks. Also if they are this concerned about belts, why do they not install them in public transportation or school buses; if they are truly interested in saving lives.

    I can see in small towns how they want this to create revenue, but in a bigger town or city they need to be focused on more serious crime.

  2. I think seat belt laws are a necessity for the driver and passenger seat driver. However, i think that if the people in the backseat do not want to wear a seat belt then that is alright. I agree with Robert Dodd as well when he says if a passanger does not want to wear a seat belt then they will not. However, if they get enough tickets for it, they eventually will come around and it will be on their mind when they get into the car. So it will lead them to putting it on because of habit. The whole seat belt issue is just trying to save lives and improve our safety. I think the seat belt laws are good, even though they are a little corny and demanding.

  3. Seat belt laws are absolutely necessary. My sophomore year of high school, a few friends of mine got into a car accident and hit a light pole. Everyone had their seat belt on except my friend Mike, who was sitting in the back seat. He died on the scene due to not wearing a seat belt, and everyone else survived. I don't understand how anyone could not WANT to wear a seat belt when it clearly saves lives. The fact that there are laws enforcing people to wear seat belts is not to create problems or revenue, it's to save lives. Everyone has a choice to wear it or not, just like everyone has a choice to drive the speed limit or not. Both speed and not wearing a seat belt can be fatal, but people choose to do it anyways. Having laws against these things will hopefully cause people to be more cautious of what they're doing and protect themselves more. I think it is important for tickets to be written for not wearing a seat belt, because it is just as dangerous as many other violations on the road.

    1. This is a very intersting topic because it affects us all.We all drive almost everyday and make the decision to put our seatbelt on or not to. The seatbelt law is in place to save lives in my opinon. ITs a matter of common sense to me. If your in any type of collision without a seatbelt on what do you think is going to happen to your body? Your going to be thrown through the front windshield most of the time. If the threat of getting that ticket makes you put your seatbelt on, the law is working.

  4. I think the seat belt issue is one in which people love to get worked up about, however are completely aware of the benefits that seat belts provide. Seat belts are absolutely required in vehicles simply because the manufacturers are mandated to do so. It would be silly for the law enforcement to not enforce seat belt law simply because it is statistically proven that seat belts save lives (in MOST cases). The fact that people argue about them being a constitutional violation is absurd. Seat belts are life savers that protect the manufacturer from liabilities and allow drivers/passengers to have a sense of safety while in the moving vehicle.

  5. Seat belt laws are always certain to bring up some interesting debates, but I think that most people would willingly agree that we should wear seat belts, and that they do save lives. Perhaps the question is not whether or not seat belts are effective, but whether or not the government should be able to dictate that we have to wear them. I think it's more an issue of government control and that is a very serious issue. It is important that we protect our constitutional freedoms, but it is also important to prevent the potential loss of lives. I don't think it's quite as simple as some people may think.

  6. At first, I hated the new seatbelt laws. I hardly ever wore my seatbelt and I felt that if I didn’t want to wear my seatbelt it shouldn’t be a big deal. I felt that it should be my option on whether or not I wanted to wear my seatbelt and not the police’s. However, last September I was in a very bad car accident. I was turning left going 15 mph and was hit on my driver’s side door my a truck going 70 mph passing another car. My car was shoved past the ditch and into a corn field. I didn’t even know what had hit me. But for some reason on the particular day I had decided to wear my seatbelt and I was told by the firemen that I was lucky that I did because that was the only thing that saved my life. As a result, I now wear my seatbelt every day and I feel that everyone else should too!

  7. I think that the seat belt laws are a good thing because they do save peoples lives when they are in an accident. Some people think it is there own right to decide if they want to wear one or not. I see that side too but I believe that we should wear a seat belt to save lives.

  8. Whenever I get into a car, I always put on my seat belt. I don't do this because of the laws, I do this because it is the intelligent thing to do. I have also heard people use the argument that sometimes the seat belt contributes to the death of the person in the car due to it jamming or something and trapping them inside of a burning car or something, but honestly I believe that's a very weak excuse. Using that excuse would be like using the excuse that you don't want to use a condom (or any other for of birth control) because it might break/fail. Also, if people believe that it's ok for the government to tell us that we can't do drugs for our own safety, then why not seat belt laws? Also, the excuse of "I'm only going X-amount of blocks" is a faulty excuse as well because a majority of car accidents happen within a mile of the driver's home. Good Post.