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.