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Government says: Click-it or Ticket

Christopher Harris

I just saw a rather gruesome video on Youtube showing a person catapulted out of the vehicle, 15 meters into the air, during a high speed car-crash. Let me start out by saying that you will pretty much never catch me driving my vehicle on the roads without wearing a seat-belt. I value my own life too much to take a risk, that in my opinion, has no real benefit. It’s just foolish. That being said, being the Liberty minded Conservative that I am, I have to ask the question…”Do we really need ‘Government’ to create and enforce laws (like ‘Seat-belt Laws”) that are supposedly ‘for our own good’??”

In 1965, politicians and bureaucrats in the United Kingdom passed laws making it a requirement for automobile manufacturers to create anchorage points for seat-belts in all new vehicles. By 1968, they added the requirement that not only would three-point seat-belts be fitted in the front seats of all new cars…but they also mandated that all cars going back to the 1965 model year be retrofitted in the same manner. However, seat-belt use didn’t become compulsory in the UK until 1983.

In 1970, the state of Victoria in Australia became the first place to make wearing a seat-belt compulsory. By the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the rest of the Australia followed suit. In 1976, the province of Ontario in Canada also made it compulsory, and likewise, the entire nation of Canada soon followed suit.

In 1961, the state of Wisconsin introduced legislation to require seat-belts be fitted in the front seats of cars, but it wasn’t until 1984 when New York state became the first state to mandate the use of seat-belts. Subsequently, different laws were created in this country, with some states creating “Primary Offense” and others passing “Secondary Offense” laws, with the difference being whether or not a police officer could pull you over and fine you simply for not wearing a seat-belt, or if they had to detain you for some other reason first.

Once again, I am not going to argue whether or not it makes sense to wear a seat-belt, because I know without a doubt that I would not be alive today, had I been in the habit of always wearing a seat-belt. But honestly, me wearing a seat-belt was not something I needed the Government to tell me to do. When I was young, I saw someone laying on the side of the road (dead), because they weren’t wearing a seat-belt, and they had been thrown from the vehicle. That was pretty much all I needed.

Like virtually every other human being, I take all sorts of “risks” in my life, but they are all pretty much calculated risks. By calculated risks, I mean that I have consciously (or subconsciously) weighed the potential gain against the possible negative consequences and repercussions of my action or inaction. With the overwhelming majority of those “risks”, my decision has little to do with regard for some arbitrary law, and much more to do with pursuing my own self-interests. In virtually every case, my ultimate self-interest is the preservation of my own life.

In the case of passengers riding in my vehicle, once again, self-interest takes precedence. I don’t require everyone who rides with me to wear a seat-belt because I am afraid of getting a ticket, I require it because if an accident occurs, I don’t want it on my conscious that they died while riding in a vehicle that I was driving. Basically, if you want to die in a car…do it in your own car. But as long as you are choosing to ride with me, you are, by default, giving up your “right” to not wear a seat-belt.

Truck - Loaded with people

Personally, I think that my mindset is much more prevalent than the “Click-It or Ticket” mindset. I believe that the “selfish” desire for “self-preservation” is an innate desire, and CAPITALIST in a FREE MARKET economy naturally seek to cater to the self-interests and desires of THE MARKET. So I have no doubt that sooner or later, even without Government intervention, automobile manufacturers would have started offering these “safety features”, because the natural demand would be there.

I think that Nobel Prize winning Economist (and Philosopher), Milton Friedman, does a phenomenal job of breaking down the folly and hypocrisy of the “For your own good”, and “Saving lives” stance that many on The Left purport, particularly since virtually every one of them will turn around and advocate for the right to abort a child.

So, my fellow Unhyphenated Americans, it is my sincere desire that going into this 4th of July holiday weekend, you all decide to have everyone in your vehicle buckle-up, not because of “Click-it or Ticket”, but because it is truly in your own ultimate self-interests to do so.

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