Seat Belt Infractions a Draconian Law

Politics in the Law, A Commentary
 by  Keith Allison, D.Dn.

© 24 May 2002


           5/24/02 -  Do you REALLY believe legislators and bureaucrats are interested in our welfare? Are any of my readers delusional enough to believe they give a rat’s patoot about our welfare?

Several years ago, Washington State imposed a “seat belt law” on occupants of automobiles. At the time, citizens of the state were told we couldn’t be stopped solely because we weren’t wearing our seat belts; we were told we could only be stopped for violating any of the states multitude of traffic laws designed to protect us from ourselves. Well, the legislature has changed that, and Governor Locke-nut signed new legislation into law that allows law enforcement personnel to stop, and cite drivers and occupants for seat-belt infractions. Purportedly, the legislature enacted this law to protect the occupants of automobiles involved in traffic accidents.

Frankly, I believe that seatbelts save lives, but while I believe this draconian law will result in more people surviving automobile accidents, I also believe there will be an increase in the number of people maimed and mutilated in automobile accidents. As a result, healthcare personnel will be under far greater pressure to care for these “walking wounded,” and there will be a subsequent increase in the need for “rest homes” to warehouse these victims of automobile mayhem. The death of racing great Dale Earnheart is a perfect example that seat belt laws are not the panacea for deaths in automobile accidents. And if seat belts are the cure all for the resultant carnage of an accident, why don’t more pilots and passengers survive accidents when they abruptly come to a stop against the side of a mountain?

So, if seat belts laws can’t guarantee anyone surviving an automobile accident, or that the wearer won’t be left in a catatonic state, what purpose could the legislature have had in mind when they first proposed this law? Could it have been a result of bribery (oh, excuse me, campaign contributions) from the insurance industry? Or, could it possibly be because of recent voter supported initiatives reducing the amount of money flowing into state coffers? WHAT? Do you suppose this law is nothing more than a way to get into YOUR pocket through the court system? Nay, nay, you say; our legislators couldn’t possibly be as devious as that!

If you truly believe that legislators always have the public’s best interests in mind, consider an item that Carrole Kemick, a Canadian reader of my column, sent me. Apparently, Jim Yates, an American citizen, forwarded this article to Carrole.

According to this item, Joe Wright, a Minister, was asked to give the opening prayer for the Kansas State Senate. His prayer was as follows: Heavenly father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good,” but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that:

We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of speech.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will and we openly ask these things in the name of your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

According to this document, there was an immediate response to Minister Wright’s prayer. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In six short weeks, Central Christian Church logged more than 5,000 telephone calls, with only forty-seven of those calls responding negatively. And the church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea.

Commentator Paul Harvey purportedly aired this prayer on his radio program “The Rest of the Story,” and received a larger response to his program than any other he has ever aired.

 Disregarding what I believe to be the unconstitutionality of this seat belt law, I will continue to strap myself into my suicide chariot, because it’s something I’ve always done; it’s something I long ago chose to do. That’s right folks, I have exercised my right to freedom of choice; I have chosen to use a seat belt, not merely comply with an unconstitutional law to avoid adding additional revenue for public officials to squander.

 Knowledge is the key that unlocks the shackles of bondage.


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