Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Research Paper on Seat Belts

Research Paper on Seat Belts

Have you ever been driving down the Highway in the left-hand lane and have someone pass you on the right, only to cut you off? I know I have, as a matter of fact it happened to me just last week. The driver of this particular vehicle was clutching the steering wheel with a cell phone in one hand, and a hairbrush in the other hand. Shortly after this near death experience I was pulled over and cited solely for the purpose of not wearing my seat belt. Most people agree that seat belts save lives in certain types of accidents, and that all children under the age of 18 should be buckled in. Now with that said, I do not believe in the enforcement of the mandatory seat belt law on adults, because these laws are motivated by financial greed, infringe on our rights, and keep the police from working on more important issues.

First of all, I think we are all familiar with the expression “There is never a cop around when you need one.” The reason is you never see a cop is because they’re out patrolling the streets for seat belt violators. This reasoning isn't far from the truth; a friend of mine (who just happens to be a CHP officer) told me that he devotes about 25 percent of his time to seat belt violators. This is a gross injustice of our tax dollars, being that at 91 percent California already has the highest rate of seat belt compliance in the nation. Certainly the police have more important issues to contend with rather than hunting down and ticketing the dreaded seatbelt violators. I think our tax dollars would be better spent on fixing up the roads to make them safer.

Secondly, we were told seat belt laws were initiated for our safety, when in fact seat belt laws were motivated by financial greed. Over the years our government has bombarded us with the slogan "Seat Belts Save Lives," which is true in certain types of traffic accidents. But, there is plenty of proof that in other types of accidents people have been seriously maimed, or even killed because of seat belt use. The government regurgitates statistics that are bias and in favor of the mandatory seat belt law. We never hear about the people that could not escape from their burning or sinking vehicles. This leads me to believe that maybe the government had some other motive…money. Besides all the money generated by the issuing of tickets, states that participate in this law also receives federal grants. The money from these grants is used to pay the officers overtime while enforcing the seat belt law. This generous overtime incentive helps relieve the pressure for police salary increases, which is why the police support enforcement of these laws.

Thirdly, this insidious law infringes on our constitutional rights. In California we can be pulled over for the mere suspicion of non-seatbelt compliance. Even if the officer is mistaken, once they have you pulled over you can be subjected to interrogation, field sobriety tests, and a visual inspection of your car, all without legal representation present. The police often use this same type of procedure in racial profiling, often-targeting minorities, women, and young people that are usually traveling alone and at night. In this country we have the right to the procurement of one's own personal health and safety. We have the right to refuse any medical procedure or use any medical device even if it results in premature death. Therefore, this law violates all of our constitutional rights.

In conclusion, I believe in the voluntary use of seat belts for adults, as with any other health care or medical device; however, I do have a problem with the state mandatory seat belt law. It’s not the job of the police department to make sure that we are all wearing our medical devices.

What’s next, are the police going to stop by in the morning and fine us for not taking our vitamins? More and more everyday we are losing are constitutional rights. Nowadays it’ legal for the government to read our e-mails, tap our phone lines, and pull us out of our vehicles to interrogate us for not wearing our seat belts. More people should get out and vote and speak their minds or before long we won’t have any rights left.

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