Who is really benefiting from Seatbelt Laws?
Alcohol consumption is legal. Tobacco use is legal. Self-mutilation is legal. Being un-restrained while in possession of personal property (car) by an adult is illegal. What is wrong with this picture? The reason why seat belt laws were implemented was to raise revenue for the government, not to save lives, reduce highway fatalities, or lower auto insurance rates as guaranteed by the state legislators. Adults should not being forced to wear a seat beat in a vehicle that is their own personal property. This is a loss of freedom. Seatbelt laws infringe on a person’s rights as guaranteed in the Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments. Such laws are an unwarranted intrusion by the government into the personal lives of citizens.
On the promise of reducing highway fatalities and auto insurance rates seat belt laws began to pass in the state legislatures throughout the United States in 1985. Such laws had been proposed before 1985 but they were rejected by most state legislators because the vast majority of people opposed them (Holdorf). In 1984, then Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole devised a plan with automakers. She promised if states representing more than two-thirds of the U.S population passed seatbelt laws by April 1, 1989, the mandated rule that necessitated automakers to install passive restraints (air bags) would be rescinded. Automakers resisted this law because the high expense to develop and install them would then raise the prices of vehicles way beyond what the common auto buyer would pay. To avoid the installation of air bags, automakers responded to Dole’s promise and created the lobby Traffic Safety Now (TSN). They began pouring in millions of dollars, which they had to splurge, to pass seatbelt laws (Holdorf).
State legislators took notice and began passing mandatory seatbelt laws and politicians officially locked arms with law enforcement. By 1993 TSN has spent more than $93 million to buy...