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Backseat passengers

Excellent and helpful news story.

I think all states should mandate seat belt usage by all passengers.

Agreed. There occasionally are accidents where the cops have told people that not wearing it saved them from injury, but those are rare. I also think that it needs to be a law that everyone on a motorcycle needs to be wearing a helmet.

I agree that all occupants should be belted in. In my vehicles, I am king of the forest and everyone has to be belted or I don’t drive away. In 29 states and D.C., all occupants must wear their seat belts. MD only requires front seat occupants to wear seat belts, but it is a primary offense not to. Primary offense means the police can stop you for it.

Speaking of primary offense, a friend in Indiana was stopped by the police. He unbuckled his belt to get the registration from the glove box and hid driver’s license from his back pocket. The office noticed he was not belted and gave him a ticket for it despite being stopped with the engine off. He went to court and lost. Paid a big fine, too. Don’t unbelt if the police stop you. Put your hands at 10:00 and 2:00 and wait for the police officer to ask you to do something. Also, roll the window down an inch or two, but not enough that the officer can reach into the car but you can still hear them.

I agree with you on motorcycles.

I had a motorcycle once.

After a minor accident I sold it.

Just my opinion, but anyone with a motorcycle probably has a suicide wish.

My Uncle Jon would be dead right now if he wouldn’t have been wearing a helmet when he was hit by a drunk driver (and flew head first into a tree…). It took a long time and a lot of PT/OT, but he’s just fine now (well he is a Yankees fan… :wink: ). I also work in an Emergency Department of the only Trauma Center in the county, after seeing everything I’ve seen, I could never in my right mind purchase one either. Just earlier today driving home after dropping off my children at preschool, I almost hit an idiot (in a bright pink shirt and NO helmet) that decided to cross the middle lane to pass a work van (going the speed limit)…fortunately this “genius” saw me and quick got back over before he caused a huge pile up… :rage::rage::rage::rage:

I am very glad your uncle was wearing a helmet. :slight_smile:

I have a strong belief in God and feel that he has prevented many tragedies.


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Looking at the history of the world, I think the tragedies that have occurred outweigh the tragedies prevented by your god, now pray to your god for the success of the tessla or a football team, and you have my summary of the situation.

I think every one in a car should wear a seat belt and everyone on a motorcycle should wear a helmet, but I never gave anyone the right to tell me I had to. At what point in our history did it become the states job to protect us from ourselves. We would have more freedom and more money if we were not paying bureaucratic busybodies to micromanage us.


You bring up a good point.

But I have a question.

It appears that you do not believe in a higher power.

Maybe you feel that the Earth and universe appeared as a random chance.

My question for you.

If there is a God, is it possible that humans do not know why He would allow some tragedies to occur ?

You are overlooking one very important reality, namely that EVERYONE’S health insurance rates are impacted by the extreme amounts of medical care that are given (frequently in vain) in order to treat, and to extend the lives of accident victims who have been severely injured. Some people don’t die, and they become “vegetables” who need incredible amounts of medical care for decades, and those expenses become part of the calculation of everyone’s medical insurance rates.

Because, in effect, we are all paying for the many millions of dollars of medical expenses annually for people with severe collision injuries, it is actually in everyone’s best interests to reduce those stratospheric medical expenses by reducing injuries, and the best way to reduce crash-related injuries is to mandate logical safety regulations, such as seatbelt and helmet usage.


For reference, I am a staunch supporter of seatbelts and helmets. I felt naked and very uncomfortable riding my motorcycle if I wasn’t wearing my gloves, boots and long pants along with my helmet. Motorcycling is more dangerous than driving a car. Ok, but I am also Libertarian that feels people have a right to make their own decisions, good or bad. And who am I to make that determination? I look at helmet laws based on this:

“According to NHTSA, in 2015, 4,976 people died in motorcycle crashes, up 8 percent from 4,594 in 2014. In addition, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured, down 3 percent from 92,000 in 2014. In 2015, 40 percent of the motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets.”

That last statement… 40% NOT wearing helmets were killed which means that 60% WERE killed wearing helmets. That number has gone UP from 50% to 60% since the last time I looked this up. Sobering thoughts. Wear a helmet, still have a 60/40 shot at death.

I understand the point of your argument. It is valid. Take that point just a little farther. The same could be said for obese people who smoke, drink and have heart disease. Should we outlaw bacon? Jail obese people until they lose weight for their own good? Outlaw smoking? Drinking? (how’d that work out??) for the very same thread of logic? If we should move to a single payer healthcare system, that argument gets much stronger. Do we want every enjoyable activity with any sort of risk outlawed for the “greater good”? I, for one, don’t want that.

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Good advice

But this is a good way to end up with an annoyed cop who detains you for an hour while he gets a drug dog to the scene.

The cop isn’t allowed to search your vehicle without permission unless there’s clear evidence that you’ve got illegal items in it. So make sure the crack pipe is out of view ( :wink: ) and roll the window all the way down so the cop doesn’t start off irritated.

If he’s the type to reach in and start beating on you or illegally rifling through your stuff, a mostly-rolled-up window isn’t going to stop him.

Never a bad idea to start recording on your cell phone before he gets to your window, though. Video helps keep people honest.


Yup it is a dangerous road to go down. A great deal of medical expenses are borne in a person’s last 6 months of life, trying to extend the person’s life. This causes as much havoc on insurance rates as unbelted folks that tend to die in accidents rather than need extended care. Everyone knows that the only way to contain medical costs is to ration services. Is this really what you want?
Seems to be typical answers to life’s problems to restrict the freedoms of others. Geeze, don’t you realize there can be no end to it? I don’t mind a discount for people that buckle up all the time and allow that little black box in their car to transmit to their insurance carriers, but using the insurance rate excuse to restrict the freedom of others is an Eastern European tactic that doesn’t belong here.

Absolutely agree! Every single law written infringes on SOMEbody’s freedom. Every single one. Even laws that don’t seem that way on the surface, still costs tax dollars to enforce. Every new law should be scrutinized far more than they are before being passed.

We are all just passengers on this bus.

In my state the seatbelt law applies to all vehicle occupants unless there are not enough belts. We have far to many fatalities with young people being ejected.

Tomorrow when I do my weekly under the hood checks I will see how awkward it is to reach my glove box while buckled. I know retrieving my wallet would be quite difficult. The last time I was stopped 10 years ago I unbuckled and had my license, registration, and proof of insurance ready. The officer said nothing concerning my seatbelt since I was parked with engine off when it is not required… Your example sounds like a dumb cop and dumber judge. Q: What do you call a lawyer with a sub 50 IQ? A: Your honor.

I won’t drive a car without a seatbelt, and I won’t ride a bike without a helmet… not even a bicycle.
Good thing too. Years back when I was a hard-core mountainbiker, I did an endo into a pile of boulders ascending a piece of technical singletrack. I tore up my rotator cuff, chipped my elbow, sprained both wrists, and broke my hardshell helmet. That helmet probably saved by butt.

We used to have a saying in my cycling club; with the exception of your spine, every bone in your body will heal… except your melon. Break a clav, break an arm, break a leg, even break a pelvis and it’ll all heal. Break your melon and you’re screwed.

As regards cars, in NH it isn’t required for adults to wear them. I always do, but with adult passengers middle age and up I leave it to them to choose. I have some elderly friends who have legitimate medical issues making seatbelts painful for them. I’m happy to drive them anywhere anyway. Their disabilities have already made their lives miserable enough without forcing them to do what hurts, and they’re old enough to make their own decisions.

They make butt helmets now? Going for the bubble soccer after my tailbone incident. Slipped off the wet fender of my boat while trying to look for a roof leak in the rain,
You don’t have to call me darling, darling, you never even me call by my name! Sorry too many fun nights in the bars with that song.

I almost made the butt helmet comment but was somehow able to resist. I once witnessed a cyclist crash and severely injure his knee on a curb. Someone quipped that he should have been wearing his helmet on his knee. Humorous but rather cruel.