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.