Endless possibilities

I read with dismay the Sun Journal's Feb. 3 editorial continuing to support the status of failure to wear a seat belt as a primary offense. Recent reports have revealed enforcement is unpopular with citizens, which is to be expected for such an unjust law.

The editorial ties the cost of society's interest in helping people in need as a case for regulating behavior. If we accept this, then it is logical to conclude that any behavior that is deemed by government to be expensive must also be regulated. That could include weight gain, the use of salt on food, when we go out at night . . . the list of possibilities is endless. It's certainly a compelling argument to reject any attempt at universal health care.

The editorial also delves into a misleading and amateurish financial analysis of the costs of seat belt use. Medical costs of survivors are cited, while ignoring the financial benefits realized when Americans, particularly older ones, are killed in traffic accidents. Should we be discouraging seat belt use when it saves us money? If this whole line of reasoning sounds sick, it is because it comes from a position which is morally corrupt.

If you're always looking at the financial bottom line when you help someone, then you are really just helping yourself. My advice (and plea) to anyone: If you can't afford your conscience, try looking within, rather than outward for answers.

Lindsey Montana, Otisfield

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 's picture

Having taken care of one or

Having taken care of one or two motor vehicle occupants over the years, the difference a simple seat belt is dramatic. Almost always people who wear seatbelts are standing there waiting as EMS, Fire and Police arrive. Those without seatbelts are sometimes out of the vehicle as well, usually many feet away from the vehicle, lucky to be breathing, while EMS, Fire and Police pray for the helicopter to hurry and get there, so the victim can get to a trauma center hopefully to stay alive, and then endure months of rehab, with little chance to get back to where they were physically. This is a no brainer. I feel the same way about helmets for motorcycle riders as well.

 's picture

First the law is perfectly just

Regulating behavior that causes social harm is obviously the only legitimate justification for any law. Punching somebody in the nose is illegal because of the costs the victim incurs, the costs society incurs, and because of the injury done to the community's peace and safety i.e. the total being the social harm. Not wearing a seatbeat clearly causes social harm. Its wrong and the government has the right to prevent it.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The current law will make a

The current law will make a lot more sense to a lot more people when it is accompanied by a law that requires anyone riding on a motorcycle to wear a helmet. Otherwise, the seat belt law is sham and scam.

 's picture

Do you have any idea...

...what it medically costs to put people back together after an accident when people don't wear their seat belts. And if they don't have insurance. guess who pays for that. Buckle up. Lower hospital rates.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Buckle up. Lower hospital

"Buckle up. Lower hospital rates."
That's like limiting everyone to a six pack will cut down on drunken driving accidents. Neither is ever going to happen.

RONALD RIML's picture

Seat belts are unpopular with some folks

For the reasons they are too lazy to buckle up and really hate someone else telling them what to do.

Go to a number of accident scenes and they might finally figure it out... Naw. Too hard-headed....


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