Skip to comments.Click it or ticket
Posted on 05/31/2006 9:42:50 AM PDT by from occupied ga
Virginia's secretary of transportation sent out a letter announcing the state's annual "Click It or Ticket" campaign May 22 through June 4. I responded to the secretary of transportation with my own letter that in part reads:
"Mr. Secretary: This is an example of the disgusting abuse of state power. Each of us owns himself, and it follows that we should have the liberty to take risks with our own lives but not that of others. That means it's a legitimate use of state power to mandate that cars have working brakes because if my car has poorly functioning brakes, I risk the lives of others and I have no right to do so. If I don't wear a seatbelt I risk my own life, which is well within my rights. As to your statement 'Lack of safety belt use is a growing public health issue that . . . also costs us all billions of dollars every year,' that's not a problem of liberty. It's a problem of socialism. No human should be coerced by the state to bear the medical expense, or any other expense, for his fellow man. In other words, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another is morally offensive."
My letter went on to tell the secretary that I personally wear a seatbelt each time I drive; it's a good idea. However, because something is a good idea doesn't necessarily make a case for state compulsion. The justifications used for "Click It or Ticket" easily provide the template and soften us up for other forms of government control over our lives.
For example, my weekly exercise routine consists of three days' weight training and three days' aerobic training. I think it's a good idea. Like seatbelt use, regular exercise extends lives and reduces health care costs. Here's my question to government officials and others who sanction the "Click It or Ticket" campaign: Should the government mandate daily exercise for the same reasons they cite to support mandatory seatbelt use, namely, that to do so would save lives and save billions of health care dollars?
If we accept the notion that government ought to protect us from ourselves, we're on a steep slippery slope. Obesity is a major contributor to hypertension, coronary disease and diabetes, and leads not only to many premature deaths but billions of dollars in health care costs. Should government enforce, depending on a person's height, sex and age, a daily 1,400 to 2,000-calorie intake limit? There's absolutely no dietary reason to add salt to our meals. High salt consumption can lead to high blood pressure, which can then lead to stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis and asthma. Should government outlaw adding salt to meals? While you might think that these government mandates would never happen, be advised that there are busybody groups currently pushing for government mandates on how much and what we can eat.
Government officials, if given power to control us, soon become zealots. Last year, Maryland state troopers were equipped with night vision goggles, similar to those used by our servicemen in Iraq, to catch night riders not wearing seatbelts. Maryland state troopers boasted that they bagged 44 drivers traveling unbuckled under the cover of darkness.
Philosopher John Stuart Mill, in his treatise "On Liberty," said it best: "That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise."
Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics.
Meanwhile the Mexican invasion continues unabated with the connivance of federal state and local governments. Of course you wouldn't want the police to crack down on wetbacks. No money in it. Guess it's obvious the government by, for and of the people isn't the taxpaying middle class people whose loot powers the government.
And, yes, government at all levels has an interesting set of priorities, does it not?
i think this is a great campaign...it keeps my car insurance down because my premiums go up every time a stupid person decides to drive down the road with out a seatbelt and hit another car and die. this has been around for about a year now in california and it has worked well. i have yet to get a ticket because im not stupid enough to drive without a seatbelt...its equivalent to bungee jumping without a cord...common sense people.
In VA it's a secondary offense not to wear a seatbelt.
I couldn't agree more. The only thing that I can see that is good about seat belt laws is that we the people will be paying less for someone who injures themself in an accident and carries no insurance. But that is the only thing I can see good about them. I'm referring to adults of course, since children aren't able to make these decisions for themselves.
You do not have the right to drive, it is a privilege, and to keep that privilege there are rules to follow.
Let's compare the societal costs imposed by seatbeltless driving, and, say...illegal immigration, which, for some odd reason, government seems less eager to crack down on.
When I go to work I need to make a left turn at a traffic light that has a left turn light. There is almost no oncoming traffic but traffic going my direction is very heavy but the light will not give me green until the cross street gets a green, which can be several minutes.
Anyway, what I do is, if there is no other car stopped there, I simply make a turn without even slowing down (assuming there are no oncoming cars and nobody in the crosswalk. Well, the other day, a car ahead of me pulled into the lane and I thought, nuts, Im gonna have to wait for the light. I was shocked when he did exactly what I do. And I thought I was such a rebel
I dont stop at such lights any more, unless there is a safety reason like oncoming traffic or a pedestrian. I even did it in front of a cop one day with no ill effects whatsoever.
I do think we are seeing more traffic anarchy.
"If I don't wear a seatbelt I risk my own life, which is well within my rights."
Who gave you the right to raise insurance rates both for automobile drivers and for healthcare costs? When you crush your body in a mangled mess, do you honestly think it doesn't affect everyone else? I wish that weren't the case and that drivers were totally responsible for their own stupidity, but that's not reality.
"In VA it's a secondary offense not to wear a seatbelt."
heh, heh. Yes, it was everywhere else...at first. :)
this is directed by the dept. of transportation of each state to local agencies...this is their job..not immigration. no govt stays focused on one single issue. i think this is a good example of a govt enforcing its laws. they can apply this to immigration by following those laws. by the way...the reference that was made to john stuart mill is right on...except that not buckling up leads to harm of others, by way of higher premiums, and loss of loved ones...this was the sketchiness of mill's four freedoms.
Such an argument can be made for the regulation almost any human behavior: diet, smoking, hobbies, sports, etc.
Next time the lawmakers make a promise, remember what they did to this one.
When they first started ticketing for seatbelts they said they would only do it when they already had stopped a driver for another offense. Now they are going nuclear. Much like when they first started smog control on cars it was fairly reasonable with cars over a certain age being exempt and a maximum on how much you could be forced to spend. Now that program is on steroids. The incrementalism of statists is very effective and chilling.
Any law that saves money is, by definition, a good law.
Actually, I logged over half a million miles without a seat belt. How many bungee jumps would one survive without a cord?
how we ever lived through life before seat belts is beyond me.we even rode in the back of pickups.yes we were daredevils.
Hmmm. They want to:
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.