Seat Belt Enforcement Laws Are Beneficial

949 words - 4 pages

Does everyone have their seat belts on? This is a question that children hear repeated each time their parents start the vehicle. Seat belt laws are enforced in in forty-nine of the fifty states even so; parents reiterate it time after time to keep us safe rather than just following the law. Beginning in the 1930’s, physicians determined that a lap belt should be used in automobiles to avoid serious injury or a fatality. Over the years, the simple two-point lap belt has evolved into a multiple point seat belt used for many different types of driving. Racer car drivers generally use a five-point harness. However, for normal every day driving “the three-point”, lap and shoulder combination “is considered the safest version and is the kind found in most vehicles today” (“Seat Belts”, 2010). Seat belts are the primary prevention of ejected passengers. Opponents argue that wearing seatbelts should be a personal choice, not something enforced by a law. Proponents support the initial theory; it is safer to remain within the confines of the vehicle for increased protection. It is imperative that seat belts laws are enforced to increase seat belt use, decrease motor vehicle injuries and fatalities, in addition, reduce costs in medical expenses and insurance claims from automobile accidents.
To begin with, it is only appropriate that the government would require regulations on automakers to install the safety restraints. “The National HighwayTransportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recognized for many years that motor vehicle crashes are responsible for ninety percent of all transportation related deaths are caused by highway crashes” (Roeber, 2008). Moreover, state legislation finds it suitable to enforce laws supporting that in wearing the belt can reduce the number of fatalities. Opponents are outraged that they would use law enforcement’s time and resources to make people abide to something that should be their choice. They feel that they are putting themselves at risk and that law enforcement agencies need to concentrate on those that put others at risk. Balaker (2008), a member of the Reason Foundation argues, “‘Regulators should take a deep breath, allow beltless motorists to put themselves at risk, and go hassle the dangerous drivers.”’ Not wearing a seat belt is currently a crime. But who is the crime against? Proponents support that by establishing a primary law to enforce the use of the seat belts is instrumental in getting people to actually use them and encourage a life preserving habit (Higgins, 2010).
Next, seat belts are safety restraints that were designed to minimize the effects of injury or death in highway vehicle accidents. As Roeber (2008) argued, “‘The single greatest defense against highway fatalities is a vehicle’s seat belts.”’ The seat belt locks during the primary impact of...

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