Sunday, March 08, 2009
Buckle Up (OR ELSE!)
If you're travelling along Arkansas's Highways anytime after July 1st, make sure you've buckled your seat belt. Arkansas' Governor has signed into law a requirement that all motorists must be buckled up. That's old new there since that's been around for a number of years. What is new is not being buckled up will now be a Primary Offense rather than a Secondary Offense. Before now, the police could cite you for not wearing your safety belt, but only if you were stopped for another offense. The new law means the police can stop you simply for not being buckled up.
Lest you think it's all about safety, it isn't. The federal government is giving Arkansas an additional $9.5 million in highway funds for passing this measure. Now, while Arkansas could use the money for various construction projects (including I-49), I disagree with forcing the issue with buckling your safety belt. Now, I've always worn mine... it was ingrained into me at a young age. But I know several folks who never wear theirs. If you want to wear it, fine. If not, that's your prerogative. However, I object to the state not only forcing you to wear it, but also to allowing the police to stop you simply for not wearing it. Does that mean they can stop me if they suspect, even if I am wearing it? This sounds too much like "Big Brother".