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The Expert Jerk: Click It or Ticket – Seat Belt Safety or Stupidity?

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On May 21, be sure to start wearing your seat belt because a nationwide operation has begun: Click It or Ticket. I’m so glad law enforcement officials will be observing the seat belt usage of the entire nation. It’s much better than tracking down the crackheads and tweakers in the community. Those types only rob banks and kill people, unlike the losers who don’t wear their seat belts in their own vehicle. Those guys are the worst.

I just don’t get the seat belt issue. Okay, sure, there is some evidence that seat belts can prevent some injuries. Here are some statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website:

  • Of the 31,910 vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2001, 60 percent were not wearing a safety belt. [The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Annual Assessment of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2001]
  • Seventy-three percent of the people who were in a fatal crash in 2001 and were restrained survived; of those who were not restrained, only 44 percent survived. [NHTSA, Annual Assessment of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2001]
  • In 2001, 63 percent of 16- to 20-year-old drivers and passengers killed or seriously injured in crashes were not wearing a safety belt. [Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 2001 Annual Report File (ARF)]

These statistics are from the government so their veracity is automatically in question. In a statement from a separate entity, CarAccidents, “Failure to wear a seat belt contributes to more fatalities than any other single traffic safety-related behavior. 63% of people killed in accidents are not wearing seat belts. Wearing a seat belt use is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on America's roadways.”

Of those fatalities, how many would have died whether wearing a seat belt or not? When an 18-wheeler rolls over on you, a seat belt won’t do you much good. If it’s for safety, as the government says, that we are being forced to wear our seat belts in our own vehicles, then why do new cars come with jacks for plugging in digital accessories like cell phones? Isn’t that dangerous for drivers? I believe so. In fact, it’s probably one of those jerks who will run into me while I’m not wearing my seat belt.

What of motorcyclists? In Arizona, adults are not required by law to wear a helmet. I’m sitting in my half-ton truck — forced to wear a seat belt — looking at some idiot on a Honda Goldwing with no helmet. At least my government thinks I’m worth saving. I’ve got a seat belt. Ha! Screw the bikers.

I don’t buy the “public safety” crap. Here’s a hint as to another reason, from the NHTSA website: “Motor vehicle crashes in 2000 cost a total of $230.6 billion, an amount equal to 2.3 percent of the gross domestic product, or $820 for every person living in the United States. [NHTSA, Economic Impact of Crashes, 2002]”

Could there be an economic reason behind all this? Sure. Here are some other fascinating aspects of this wonderful campaign, from the National Safety Council’s website.

  • Child restraint use for infants under one has risen from 85 percent to 99 percent, and restraint use among toddlers, ages 1-4, has jumped even more dramatically from 60 to 94 percent.
  • Adult seat belt use rose from 62 percent to 79 percent – the highest use rate ever – with more than 50 million Americans buckling up.

Then they go on to state:

  • Law enforcement agencies from multiple jurisdictions designate several concentrated periods throughout the year to conduct intensive enforcement of seat belt and child passenger safety laws on a statewide or regional basis.
  • Observational surveys measuring seat belt and child restraint use are conducted before and after each wave to gauge the effectiveness of the efforts. (Italics added).

Well, of course usage will increase. Everyone knows when to wear their seatbelt. This campaign doesn’t increase safety; it just prevents punishment at certain times – just like any other program of this nature. People are avoiding punitive measures. That’s it.

Dr. Walter E. Williams, a nationally known economist currently on the faculty at George Mason University in Virginia, wrote an article on this subject four years ago that is well worth reading. He makes an interesting point about this being another milestone on our path to serfdom.

There is a theory that people who do not wear their seat belts while driving are actually somewhat safer since they do not have the safety net of the seat belt. They keep their eyes open for potential dangers while driving. Seat belt wearers, on the other hand, just drive like complete maniacs.

Wear your seat belt for a few weeks, make safety statistics spike, and when it’s over, we can all go back to driving like complete idiots.

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About Gray Hunter

  • What brilliant observations! While we’re at it, let’s blindfold our NASA scientists and take away all of the computers from IBM’s engineers — after all, without those “crutches,” they’ll really work hard to try to accomplish their goals!

    Also, we should cut everyone’s legs off.

  • Gray Hunter

    Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. Let’s face the fact that the NASA “scientists” are all on meth these days, so blindfolds wouldn’t hamper their work at all. The IBM jerks should be able to do the math in their head – if they weren’t busy with all their cyberfantasies.

    Yes, **** the crutches of society!!

    As far as cutting off legs … well, it didn’t do any damage to the Black Knight’s ego. He just saw the severed limbs and attacked all the more.

    Rock on.

  • My wife and I were on a date night tonight in San Diego and got NAILED by a CHP offer with the claim that my wife was not wearing her seat belt. If there is one safety queen in America, it is my wife. She always wears her belt with or without a law. She was turned sideways while talking to me and pulled the strap back a little so she could shade herself from the sun and look at me. She was definitely bucked up, but the officer still gave us a ticket.

    I told the cop that I have been hearing about the Click It Ticket concept lately and was surprised to be one of the victims. He agreed that there was definitely a campaign. Therefore, by his own words, it is not about saving lives but about a quota.

    It is tough being an officer and having to listen to most people say, “I am innocent.” It is just disappointing to be a citizen with a clean record and get written up for not wearing a seat belt!

  • Gray Hunter

    Honest John,

    I am sorry to hear about your victimization. However, I am glad that you shared it with us. This is more proof of the stupidity of the seat belt issue.

    I have, so far, been spared. But they are watching.

  • Cary Sappington

    Yes, Corzine has admitted his error and paid the fine for not wearing a seat belt. I’m glad he has taken up the public service initiative to publicize his error and convince others to wear their seat belt.

    I am however, disappointed in all previous commentary that ignores the cause of Mr Corzine’s accident and injury when the data is clearly stated. His vehicle was travelling well in excess of the posted speed limit (90 mph in a 65 zone) Even though the vehicle’s emergency lights may have been on and flashing, where was the emergency? Corzine was travelling to a meeting with Imus and the Rutgers womens basketball team. This is an emergency requiring excessive speed on a crowded roadway?

    Clearly, the use of emergency lights and high speed is needed in many circumstances. I do, however, believe in this case that use was NOT warranted. Where is the outcry about this abuse for an elected official?

  • Gray Hunter

    Sounds like Corzine and other abuser would be good fodder for a new Expert Jerk article. I will do what I can.

  • andy roth

    Corzine was’nt truly the one who was lucky. It was all the motorist around him that were luckily not killed or injured when his irresponsible driver (a cop) broke the law. Gov Rendell Of Pa has the same problem, never wheres a setbelt(look at any photo of him in his car, moving or not). and his driver is another corrupt cop that believes he’s above the law because he’s driving the governor.
    Whether I wear a setbelt or not, is my business. Now of course its a source of monitary input for local police departments. so its there business.

  • Pete Murway

    My father and I were in a head on in Long Island on Rockaway Blvd. We were in a VW bug, the other car was a Caddy. I got the point of wearing seatbelts at an early age… 1963 was a bad year for seatbelts, there were none in the car we were in. I was 4y/o at the time. As you can tell I’m alive- I never knew my father. End of story. Please put your seat belt on. Thankyou.

  • Randy

    I posted this on another blog and want others to read this also:

    Seat Belt Law
    I agree completely to the post about the 91 MPH in a 65 zone!
    I was pulled over once for going (Downhill) for going over ‘2’ MPH by an Ohio State Patrol in a 55 MPH highway and given a warning ticket! I guess he did that to just to show activity to his supervisor.
    Why the Hell was the State Patrol traveling at that speed with the Governor in his vehicle? Was he on official duty chasing someone who was observed as Not Wearing His Seatbelt or Maybe he was transporting him to a late Dinner Campaign Money Raising Dinner Reservation? (Perhaps a rumor they heard of a special offer on Krispy Creame Donuts).
    Let’s get the whole story out in the open here!
    The attorney who pushed the Seat Belt Law in Ohio years ago, who was at that time my attorney (and I can state not that good as far as working for the little man unless a lot of money was in involved), had to have his original version of the law rewritten before it would be accepted that … (paraphrasing), NO Ticket could be issued as a primary reason for being pulled over – This ticket could be given as a secondary ticket ONLY in addition to the principal reason a witnessed violation had occurred!
    Example: A speeding violation was witnessed and the violator was stopped, upon the approach up to the driver’s window the officer witnessed that the seat belt was not being used, then and ONLY then could a Seat Belt Ticket be issued as a Secondary Offence!
    So much for that – You must admit that once the government has their foot in the door… they will find a way to make a revision as to change it to make it possible to create a money maker scam out of it.
    Now that you can be pulled over as they watch you drive by to issue the ticket for up to $200.00 – It is a Cash Cow and an easy way to pump money into their system. (As one Dallas Policeman stated, “Each ticket I write… adds to my retirement fund”
    More manpower has been placed on this Easy Money Maker now than any other policy in the past with all of the checkpoints set up intending to catch the Driver and each passenger to get the most money from each stop.
    It is turning truly into a Police State, (Pun Intended), to create an easy relief to the cost of the judicial system as it is much easier to just pay the fine than to spend the money and time on fighting it in court!
    Instead of placing the manpower on fighting true crime, they are making a contest out of seeing how many tickets the police can write on this misdemeanor.
    My vehicle was broken into a few years ago and approx. $6,000.00 of items stolen out of it, along with about 8 other vehicles … when I called the Dallas Police to report it the officer said that they were too busy to come out the location to check it out and took my cell phone number and said that an officer would call me back to take the details. It has been 4 (FOUR) years now and I have never heard from them again.
    People… you are losing your rights quickly – And once it has been turned over to the Government… You will never regain them

  • Gray Hunter

    Exactly, Randy, exactly!

  • Kathy

    I was recently a victim of a Bait-and-Switch tactic by a state trooper (aka: Der Kommissar).
    I quickly put my seat-belt on before he even got out of his car. He approached me and said that I did not have a license plate on the front of my vehicle, however, he would simply give me a warning for that. Then he proceeded to tell me that he noticed that I was not wearing my seatbelt while he was driving in the opposite direction. He then handed me a ticket and I was forced to pay a fine of a whopping $ 92.00!
    I paid it along with a note on the check that the $ 92.00 was for my support and obedience to The Third Reich! Heil Hitler! I also included a picture of Hitler and wrote “Policemen wear your swasticas and show your true colors.” I also sent the court a picture of a large building with an arm coming out of it doing a salute to Hitler and captioned it as follows “this is a courthouse in the U.S. in the new millennium.” I hope I made my point. I feel that we are in a “Police State” and that more of our rights are being taken away, one unfair law at a time. I feel that there will come a time in the not so distant future that there will need to be a showdown between citizens and our government. If we don’t start standing up for our rights, we won’t have any rights left to stand up for!

  • Kathy

    I heard a rumor that the government can legally listen in to anyone’s personal phone calls now due to the so-called “War on Terror”. Is this true?

  • Gray Hunter

    Kathy, that is somewhat true. There was much debate regarding the US “monitoring” its own citizens.

  • JoJo

    I was pulled over about a week ago and received a seatbelt ticket. The officer said he clocked me at 75 mph yet he gave me a warning for the speeding and a ticket for not wearing the seatbelt. The ticket states that I was pulled over for speeding yet no where on the ticket does it say how fast I was going. I don’t believe he even clocked me at all. Well, I drive a pick-up and truck and am only 4’11” tall and the shoulder harness restricts my neck so that I can not turn my head as far to check the blind spot. I have a perfect driving record right now and I want to fight this ticket, especially since I don’t think the Euclid Police Officer actually clocked me at all. The harness also rubs against my neck right where I have a mole and it’s unconfortable. I have been wearing the seatbelt ever since, though. My pick-up is a two seater and it’s okay for people to ride in the back of the pick-up without being restrained. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Just because I don’t like wearing a seatbelt does not make me a criminal and the reason they are giving warnings for the primary reason they pull you over they give the seatbelt ticket because it costs more. I am on disability and plan to go to court and at least ask if I can do community service or something. I just don’t have the money. I really need to know if this is constitutional when there is no victim except the ticketee. I have been a Liberatarion since 1976 when I first voted and wrote in Roger McBride for president. Their policy was to eliminate victimless crimes. I need to fight this and I need help. My court date is May 30, at 9:00am in Euclid, OH.



  • JoJo

    What is a URL?

  • Joanne Winfield

    This is in reference to my last post. On May 29, I called the Euclid Police Dept to find out what the price of the seatbelt ticket was. I was really ready to fight it since my sister is an attorney and all, but my ticket was only $25.00 so I just paid it. It’s weird that the ticket is different prices in different places. I think I just got lucky to be pulled over in Euclid. The officer didn’t know how much the ticket would be, but he handed me a list of municipal courts with Euclid’s circled. My ticket was for a driver with no seatbelt. I had no passengers, but I have driven with people in the back of my pick-up truck without ever getting a ticket.


  • Grieving Aunt

    My beautiful, full of life, funny, smart and loving 19 yr old niece died in a car accident the day before Mother’s Day (May 12, 2007). She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. She was known for not wearing her seatbelt as she said it was uncomfortable. The driver was wearing his seatbelt and lived w/o injury.

    A look at the Blazer shows the cab intact, but the back window broken out due to my niece flying through it backwards, first hitting it w/the back of her head and landing 35 ft from the car. All of her ribs as well as her sternum were broken in addition to multiple fractures to her head.

    Thankfully, her face was spared and her mom was able to see her one last time to say goodbye – at the funeral viewing. She died on the side of a dark road. Needless to say, we all are very happy about the seatbelt law. If one person’s life is spared because of this law it is worth it.

    Death of a family member forever changes your life – as a parent, your life will NEVER be the same. Buckle up, there’s someone in your life that loves you and will miss you forever. Do it for them if not for yourself.

  • Grieving Aunt

    I forgot to mention in my previous post that my niece was sitting in the front passenger seat (the cab area that wasn’t dammaged), and would have not only survived the crash had she a seatbelt on, but w/no or minor injuries. Please buckle up – it may save your life.

  • Brank

    So, divulge to everyone what caused the accident that your niece was involved in. Was drinking involved, someone not paying attention, someone fell asleep. Not wearing her seat belt didn’t kill her, whoever caused the wreck killed her.

  • Stardog

    I will probably get the axe for this but it NEEDS to be said. I am sorry that you have lost a family member Grieving Aunt, but your sob story is unwarranted. Is it sad that your niece died, yes…? However sob stories and sympathy and the “someone died blah, blah story” are exactly what is used to strip us of our rights and give “seemingly” justified means for the growing police state. You niece exercised her right of freedom of choice, her essential liberty to live her life the way she chooses. An accident occurred and she lost her life, but, at least she lived a life in the act of freedom, which is more important that any one life and worth dying for if need be. It’s said that Americans used to roar for liberty but now they bleat like sheep for security. Your story is a sheep’s bleat and while tragic only helps take way our right to choose and increase a dangerous police state and given them yet another tool to further control and fine us into further submission. We are essential being asked to both build and pay for our own prison without bars to keep us “safe”, the seat belt rule is just another brick in that wall. And while yes MAYBE wearing a seat belt MIGHT be safe, it should ALWAYS be up to the individual to choose, not have the GOV make our decisions for us.

  • larry

    hile hittler we are moving toward the police state faster and faster i have had five tickits in the last year none for moving vilations two inspection and one for not having a copy of my reg and one for not having a copy of my driving lic
    then one for not having my seat belt on on memoral day hile hittler

  • The biggest problem with seat belt laws is that they are a primary enforceable infraction. They can pull you over for just not wearing a seatbelt. Better yet, they can pull you over and just say you were not wearing your seatbelt.

    Then they can go on and try to find other reasons to search your vehicle or ticket your further. The no seatbelt laws are used to give polic the ability to harass citizens and not have to justify why they pulled them over.

    So, if the government wants to argue that the seatbelt laws are there to make more people wear seatbelts and be safe then a secondary enforcement law, with higher fines, would arguable have the same net results. However, it’s not about keeping us safer it’s about not being charged with an illegal search and seizure and making a little extra cash when needed.

    What other law does an officer simply have to say – he did it, with no evidence and you’re guilty? Not that many, even speeding tickets have at least the radar logs as evidence.

  • Amanda-Beth

    I persnoaly don’t think its safe for everyone to wear a seat belt. Imagine your the driver and your takeing your friend whom has seizures some wear now imagine your friend who has seizures is belted in next to you and they start haveing a convulsive seizure. That isn’t safe so much bad could happen from being restricted while in convulsive seizure.

  • Gray Hunter


    I agree. Seat belts are not necessary – they are simply a forced “safety” item.

  • Carol

    Today I got pulled over. I wasn’t speeding but was told by the cop that I didn’t have my seat belt on. I DID have my seat belt on. I always put it on as soon as I get in the car! He said that as I passed him and the sun hit me, he seen I didn’t have it on. I said yes I did. He gave me the ticket! I am going to court this really makes me angry. I refuse to pay a fine for something I didn’t do! I video’d my shirt cause its dark purple and my seat belt is gray. The sun was rising from the east today. His car was facing east he was, facing north and pointing his speed gun at the traffic traveling south. I was on the far right lane and passed him. The sun was in his eyes if you states he see me not have the belt on as the sun shined on me…were his words and he wasn’t wearing sun glasses. Sounds like vision would be impaired????

  • David Keese

    Okay I have read and seen a few articles on the click it or ticket law. Now I have never been victimized by this idiotic law, and in my honest opinion the law is complete BS. My validation on this is that if seat belts are so important than why do they continue to make them an option in all manufactured vehicles. I mean think about why not by law require the many vehicle manufacturers to make them an automatic accessory that will strap over the occupants with out any thought necessary. All the click it or ticket law is, is a way for the government to have even more control over our decisions and to control our lives as they see fit. Many people do and don’t think that the government is moving more and more towards a socialistic government which means we would only be one step away maybe 4 years tops to being a communist country. So if any one who wants to look more into it be my guest, again I don’t pay much attention to politics but believe me when I say this no matter who you vote for the government is going to put who ever they want in office. If you disagree with me feel free to comment on it but all I know is I don’t trust our government as far as the value of the American Dollar will take me in another country which at this current rate of collapse by our so called super power country one of the Big 3 as they say is worth nothing because as Americans we value nothing but our own selves.

  • Luckycharm8

    Yeah I like how we supposedly live in the “land of the free”, yet we are not free to decide wether or not we want to wear our seatbelt in our own vehicle…all because the cops need to meet quota!