Yes, it is past time

It’s ridiculous that it is not required.

Just about every state has responded to the pickup’s rising popularity by requiring adults to wear seat belts in the trucks – except Georgia.
The fight over seat belts here is a familiar one, waged just about every year in the state Legislature with no resolution. No fewer than three House bills to require seat belts in pickups are now pending, and the Senate has already adopted its own prosposal

But there’s hope this year that lawmakers could enact the changes, now that Georgia has emerged as the lone holdout state that doesn’t require adults in pickups to wear seat belts.

“This is the year it should pass,” said Sen. Don Thomas, R-Dalton, a physician who sponsored one of the bills. “It’s embarrassing. Instead of making our state look tough, it makes us look foolish.”

Now, I tend to be like Jeff Mullis

“I’m a free-spirited guy. I believe that people should wear their seat belts. I just don’t believe the government should tell you to,” said state Sen. Jeff Mullis, a north Georgia Republican who voted against the requirements. “It’s really that simple. That’s how I usually vote on these issues – anti-Big Brother.”

But that’s foolish talk. Like it or not, the seat belt exemption is connected to higher insurance rates. In effect, Senator Mullis is in favor of higher taxes on drivers — only the tax is imposed by the insurance industry.

And frankly, I have no problem making seat belts mandatory. It may be “big brother”, but it saves me from getting in a wreck with some dumb ass redneck who thinks he’s immortal and seeing him fly through his windshield, increasing the costs of the accident clean up, increasing the costs of insurance, and leaving some village without its idiot.

27 comments

  1. Rogue109 says:

    “It may be “big brother”[.]”

    Not “may,” Erick. It IS Big Brother. And Mullis’ talk is not foolish, it’s liberty. If people want to be stupid, they don’t need “enlightened” people like you and Senator Thomas to help them along because you feel they are so dumb. Let people be able to make decisions for themselves.

  2. drjay says:

    the difference is driving is not a right it is a privilege–so it is not unreasonable to assign requirements to that privilege–also the only reason pick ups were exempted to begin w/ was b/c of the arrogance of one man–if you want to drive up and down your driveway w/o a seatbeat–have fun–but once you are on a public road–you agree to a social contract that includes among other things that vehicle being registered, you being licensed and not unreasonably your seat belt being on…

  3. Icarus says:

    The point of the seatbelt law is not to save your life. If you want to break in front of the line for a Darwin award, we’re not here to stop you.

    The point is to keep me and all the other taxpayers from having to pay for your trauma care.

  4. DMZDave says:

    The guy thrown out of his pickup truck because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt is going to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical care often at “Big Brother’s” expense.

  5. SpaceyG says:

    Yeah, I don’t really like Volvos all that much either, but considering all the idiots out there hoping to become village-free, I drive one even in the face of gross stereotyping. The things I do to live free and not die…

  6. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Rogue I totally agree with you. Big Brother government says I’m not supposed to smoke weed, shoot, after 2 beers, big brother tries to tell me that I’m legally drunk. What else does big brother require..oh wait, how bout passenger airbags..that just ridiculous and is the major reason that cars are so expensive…airbags are basically a tax, only the aouto industry is imposing it. How bout pedophiles, Big Brother says that bad…good grief, what will big brother dictate to us next? Outlaw Gay marriage…OH the HORROR!

  7. There they go again.

    Thanks for taking our attention away from Health Care Insurance, Underfunding of Law Enforcement Staff and
    the subprime Mortgage Crisis…

    At least we got our guns, pickups, lobbyists, fish hatcheries and peach pie, when the empire finally dries up…

    yassir bossman, i’ll clean them fish in a jiffy for ya, sorry for the delay, pickin and shuckin the corn all day slowed me, the missus and chillun down a bits.

  8. Rogue109 says:

    Loyalty:

    Amusing post (really). But there is a real difference between affecting someones safety by being DUI and not affecting someones safety by not wearing a seat belt. Ditto marijuana smoking; if it affects the ability to drive, then another’s safety is at risk, as well.

    Regarding passenger airbags: how about they are made an option instead of a requirement? And with pedophiles and gay marriage…that is a little far afield, don’t you think?

    Listen, you like government telling you what to do in certain areas. That’s fine, I just don’t. But I’m sure ya’ll are pleased as punch with each incremental movement towards government controls and can’t wait to buy your new light blubs in 2012 that will be a HAZMAT situation if one breaks. It is for the children, after all.

  9. ramblinwreck says:

    If we’re really serious about safety I think we should pass a law requiring everyone in the car to wear a helmet and a padded suit. We could also, as part of the next CAFE standard, govern all vehicles to not exceed 30 mph. Now THAT would save lives.

    The problem with taking care of the uninsured who don’t wear seatbelts isn’t a problem of too much liberty, it’s a problem of too much socialism.

    Also, before you want to agree with Senator Mullis remember that he also decided that you and I are not responsible enough to decide for ourselves whether we should be able to play video poker. He also voted to take away the property rights of every bar and restaurant owner in the state by voting for the smoking ban. “Anti big brother?” I don’t think so.

  10. Bill Simon says:

    No, if the govment is REALLY concerned with safety, they should outlaw all vehicles except Hummers of different colors. With everyone driving a Hummer, the death rate will drop remarkably.

  11. Icarus says:

    Good Lord Bill,

    You went to Tech. You should know better than to spout some physics-denying ignorance such as that.

    The safety of an occupant is directly proportional to at least two factors: 1) the mass of the vehicle, and 2) the construction of said vehicle.

    If everyone drove Hummers, they would all be in vehicles of relatively equal mass. Thus, neither driver would have the advantge that the Hummer driver currently has when he makes a Prius a hood ornement.

    Secondly, Hummers (and pickups, and most full and mid-size SUV’s) have a body-on-frame construction. This increases the mass of the vehicle (unibody construction is lighter), but doesn’t lend itself to “crumple zones”, which diffuse the energy of an accident.

    But then again, it doesn’t really matter. We all know the government isn’t really concerned with safety anyway.

  12. Bill Simon says:

    Icarus, the point was that neither driver in a Hummer-to-Hummer accident would be at a greater disadvantage than the other vehicle’s occupant.

    Are you telling me Hummer’s don’t have air bags?

  13. Icarus says:

    Why not make everyone drive Prius’ then? Same relative strenghts, and Al Gore wouldn’t have to sell as many of his fancy carbon credits.

  14. Icarus says:

    That’s O.K.,

    Blind people hate them. Apparently they’re so quiet, the visually impaired tend to walk in front of them a lot.

  15. ramblinwreck says:

    Again, why stop at seatbelts. If the government can make you wear a seatbelt and tell you what kind of light bulb to use why not require that all cars go no faster than 30 and be made of styrofoam? Coupled with the Nascar-like driver and passenger outfitting you could cut deaths to near zero. Problem solved.

  16. jsm says:

    Seatbelt laws are about federal subsidies. State legislatures are being bribed–not looking out for your safety.

    The article cited in this post states:

    “To stir change, the federal government has long tied highway money to seat belt restrictions. Georgia missed out on $20.7 million that was available under a 2005 federal highway law because it failed to change its law.”

    There’s also this from State Legislatures Magazine: September 1999:
    http://www.ncsl.org/programs/pubs/999belt.htm

    “To encourage the use of seat belts, states have passed laws to let cops pull over unbelted drivers. To encourage passage of those laws there is a federal incentive of $500 million.”

  17. Doug Deal says:

    jsm,

    As Republicans get elected they become addicted to big government solutions to everything. I would assume that this includes the Macon City Council.

  18. Skeptical says:

    Let’s take this one step further. If Mr. Anti- Big Brother thinks government has no business telling you whether you should wear seat belts to save lives, why does the government get to tell women what to do with their bodies? Why does the government get to tell people who can and cannot get married? And so on and so forth.

    As someone else pointed out, measures like this are just diversionary tactics to keep people’s minds focused on shiny objects instead of issues that really matter in an election year.

    Bread and circuses.

  19. Doug Deal says:

    Skep,

    Nice straw man argument. Because someone says X, you counter it by asking why other people support Y. If you think the government does not have the right to make abortion illegal, why do you think it has the right to forcably save your life with seat belts?

  20. Bill Simon says:

    Doug,

    I will admit (and, have bitched a LOT in the past about them) that the current crop of GOP leadership SUCKS when it comes to collowing the original principles of the party.

    BUT, exactly what part of YOUR Leftist platform is NOT a “big government project?”

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