If you don’t buckle your belt, will your pants fall down?

Posted: 01/04/2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Today is a good day for new laws to take effect. April 1. April fool’s day. The day for holy observance of the religion of pranksters. So, will your pants all down if you don’t buckle your belt? Not if you’re driving. And here in Maine, the April Fool state, if you are driving and you’re not buckled up, the blue light special can now fine you for not buckling them belts. Really! It’s all true! I saw it on the TV, it must be true!

Actually, all kidding aside, only a moron would want to drive without a seat belt buckled up. They do save lives and prevent serious injuries, so everybody should follow that one simple safety precaution. Every single car manufactured today has them, so it’s not like you have to go out and pay extra for them. You know, like you would for that huge boom box in the trunk so you can crank up the tunes and distract other drivers and people up to ten blocks away with the noise and ground shaking vibration. Or those little cell phones that draw your attention away from the task at hand which, while you are driving, happens to be thousands of pounds of unstoppable metal and plastic should you not see that old lady crossing the street. While you are talking on the phone.

But should there be a law requiring the use of seat belts while driving? Absolutely not! Whether or not a person chooses to be stupid should be left up to the individual. And there are other aspects that also make the applicable legislation wrong as well. For instance, motorcycle helmets. One of the basic arguments for passage of the law touts the claim that seat belts save lives. And in fact, they do. This alone should be compelling enough to make people wear them without having to be told to.

But studies also show that motorcycle helmets also save lives and prevent head injuries. How come there is no law requiring motorcycle operators to wear a safety helmet? Because special interests run the legislature, that’s why. Case in point, the law itself. This law is actually part of Title 29-A chapter 19 sub chapter 1, section 2081, rules of the road. Down towards the bottom of the law is a subsection #6, exceptions. There are two. One of them says that a rural mail carrier while delivering mail doesn’t need to wear a safety belt. But the other exception says that a paid passenger in a taxicab is not required to wear one either. What in hell is that all about?

I’ve been in taxicabs before. You need a safety belt. Case closed. Taxicabs are probably the un-safest vehicles on the road in Maine today. Most cabs are run by the seat of the pants rip-off artists who could care less about running a reputable business. Many communities have only one service. And some that have more than one service, but the same owner owns them all. Frequently they do their own safety inspections and hire mechanics of questionable skill. I’m sure you’ve seen the number of cabs out there with black smoke pouring out of the tailpipe. Squealing brakes and bald, wobbly tires. Rattling under frames and ball joints. But they get to avoid the requirement that the passengers be buckled up in the back.

So sit back and remember, your pants might not fall down if you don’t buckle the belt, but you will be offering the police another reason to stop and harass you, while at the same time charging you $50.00 for the first offense, $125.00 for the second, and $250.00 for each offense after that. and don’t forget the damage it will do to you insurance premiums for all those violations on your record.

There are a lot of pros and cons to this discussion, but the bottom line is, we now have another tool the state can use to control us, and a new source of revenue, all thanks to more special interest groups intervention. YEEEE HAAWWW! Welcome to Maine, good Comrades!

And by the way, does this law apply to tourists as well?

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