Do mandatory seat belt laws violate individual rights?
It’s a rhetorical question, like asking, “Is the sky blue?” or, “Is the sun hot?”
In other words, everyone knows the answer so there’s no need for an actual response.
Not only do laws mandating certain behaviors inhibit individual rights, they’re largely and primarily intended to raise revenue. In some states, police aren’t supposed to stop a motorist for a seat belt violation unless there’s a driving violation, such as speeding, which would result in a traffic stop.
But, do you know the law in your state? If an officer is having a slow day, and he sees you pass by in your convertible not wearing your seat belt, pulls you over for no other reason and issues a citation, what are you gonna do?
I’d bet lots of drivers ticketed only for seat belt violations just pay the fine, and that’s exactly what state and local governments want: Nothin’ but your money.
But the worst of it is the hypocrisy, and it’s not subtle. In Colorado and Florida, for example, motorcyclists can legally zip all over the road in nothing but their skivvies, while motorists and their passengers must wear seat belts. In some states, it’s also illegal to drive shirtless inside a vehicle.
Governments will claim it’s all about public safety, but if that’s true, then why don’t they care about the safety of motorcyclists?
The answer is simple, and it has nothing to do with safety. It’s because the motorcycling community is too small, compared to the driving community, to offer serious revenue potential for governments. Plus, state and local governments don’t want crowds of bikers picketing at their city halls and state capitols in protest of proposed motorcycle safety legislation.
If safety is the main concern, and as we hear over and over again, driving is a privilege, not a right, then why haven’t state and local legislatures banned all unsafe behavior in motor vehicles? Activities such as shaving, dressing, eating, smoking, fighting, sleeping and having sex are all unsafe while driving, but drivers and passengers do these things in moving vehicles 24/7/365, all over the country.
Don’t forget the wide array of gadgets which distract drivers, as well: Phones, iPods, GPS devices, on and on and on.
So where are all the laws to make driving and biking as safe as they possibly could be? Where is the government “concern” for public safety?
They’re rhetorical questions. Everyone knows the answers, so there’s no need for actual responses.