Mandatory Seat Belt Laws And The National Conference Of State Legislatures

1372 Words Oct 30th, 2016 6 Pages
Mandatory “Click It or Ticket!”: Is It Really Too Much to Ask?
Automobile accidents. No one enjoys thinking about them. Sometimes, seat belts supposedly mitigate their potentially injurious and fatal side effects. Nine out of ten passengers wear them while riding in a vehicle (IIHS). Anne Teigen of the National Conference of State Legislatures writes that in thirty-four states and Washington, D.C., which are primary-enforcement territories, a police officer can ticket the culprits, not just the driver, just for not wearing seat belts (Teigen, Occupant Protection). Meanwhile, in the other states, where secondary enforcement is practiced, a police officer can only ticket the culprits if he or she pulled the driver over for something else. Colorado is one of these secondary enforcement states (Teigen, State Seat Belt Laws). Based on the fact that two-thirds of the states now require mandatory seat belt use for all passengers, and those states have seen lower seat-belt related fatality rates, I believe that the remaining third can switch to primary enforcement over a gradual period, say within five years. On this point, are these laws effective? Are they taken seriously? Can not buckling up hurt others? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in its May 2016 issue of Traffic Safety Facts, reports in heavily populated California, “the 2015 seat belt use rate was 97.3 percent” (Chan and Webb). From this, one can infer that it is probably a primary…

Related Documents