Click It or Ticket: Get Ready for Seat Belt Checkpoints! (Don’t cops have better things to do?!)

An officer pulls you over at a checkpoint. What’s he looking for? A kidnapper? An escaped convict? How about an unbuckled seat belt?

Click It or Ticket” begins today--you know, that time of year when cops across America make use of checkpoints, pricey tickets, sting operations, tough-talking PSAs, night vision gear, and even sneaky undercover school buses to save you, not from bad guys, but from yourself. (That goes double for men aged 10 to 34, as officers will give extra special attention to the cohort that is notorious for its higher-than-average rate of beltlessness.)

Click It or Ticket runs May 19 through June 1, 2014, but pathetic police priorities continue year round.

Just over 2 minutes.

Follow the show on Twitter (@DontCops), and submit your nominees for next month.

"Don't Cops Have Better Things to Do?" is written and directed by Ted Balaker (@tedbalaker). Produced and edited by Matt Edwards (@MattChrisEd). Music by audionautix.com and "The Contessa" is by Maurice and the Beejays (Magnatune Records).

To watch previous episodes, go here.

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  • Neil B||

    I am pretty sure in MD they just scan your license plate and mail you a ticket now. I know they do that for driving with your cell phone in your hand.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Here's an appealing fellow. In fact, they're a-peeling him off the sidewalk.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    +1 Mechanized Death

  • Anonymoose||

    Seat belts save thousands of lives, so we fine people for not wearing them. I propose that these seat belt laws do not go far enough. If people were forced to wear helmets in cars this would save thousands of additional lives every year. We do it for motorcycles and bikes, why not cars?? In fact why not require everyone to wear helmets in other cases too. While walking on ice, while crossing the street, while taking a shower, while sleeping in a bed more than 1ft off the ground, etc. In fact I don't think there is any activity that couldn't be made safer by making people wear helmets.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    The school bus and undercover thing was a bit surprising. But it has nothing to do with revenue.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I wonder exactly what percentage of traffic stops are mostly about revenue? I'm thinking around 90%.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I think you're lowballing.

  • ||

    99%. DUIs are all about money now too, which is why the politicians agree to continuously lowering the limit. It just brings in so much money, and is a great way for cops to lord it over the peons.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    The other 1% are pretexts for "plain sight" searches.

  • sarcasmic||

    Most places don't even give you public pretenders for DUI cases. So if you cannot afford an attorney, you're guilty. Period. If you have three to five grand kicking around for a lawyer, there's a very good chance you will be able to get the case dismissed. So if you're poor the system gets paid and if you've got money in the bank a lawyer gets paid. No matter what, someone gets paid.

  • BenP||

    Following your logic while observing the nexus of individuals involved in this process leads one to observe that this exercise is more for attorneys whether they write the law, prosecute the law, defend the innocent, seek justice for the victim, or sit in judgement of not only those directly before them but also of the very law as passed by the representatives of the people. The nexus is the law and those who live by it - lawyers.

    Well, at least there is no wonder why the saying "what to do about the lawyers" in a revolution is more than just a serious chuckle. The take away being to understand that in a revolution those who fight for your freedoms and those of your fellow citizen are to be counted as your greatest assets just as those who fight to enslave you through their legal morass of Byzantine code are surely your greatest enemy. They are usually running for election to rule over you.

    I'm all in for an electoral revolution.

  • Zeb||

    Money not only for the states, but for their buddies running the rehab industry and bullshit safe driver courses you have to take to get your license back.

    In addition to things that directly bring in money like tickets, things like the seat belt laws give them more opportunities to look for secondary ways to fuck with people. Make enough stupid laws and you can stop anyone any time you want.

  • Idle Hands||

    Yeah those driver/drinking programs are the biggest scam around. The money involved is crazy as well fill a classroom up at about 85$ a head 4x's a week sounds like a pretty cush job to me.

  • Zeb||

    My wife's son got a DUI (for weed, which really shouldn't be possible, but he was dumb) and was complaining about how stupid and pointless the classes he had to do were. I just told him that that's not the point. It's just another punishment that you have to endure before getting your license back. Basically, it's just a fine that gets funneled to a private industry.

  • sarcasmic||

    "...a majority of violent crimes go unsolved."

    Where's the money to be made in solving violent crime?

  • Rich||

    "Ya can't get blood from a turnip, ya know? Can't polish a rubber boot!"

  • BenP||

    "Where's the money to be made in solving violent crime?"

    I'd suggest viewing this from an alternate point of view.

    How much does the community and business lose if you don't solve the violent crime problem?

    The problem is that when government has more power than the people then the people are but assets to those who rule over them. Tax payments are a return on their rulers assets to enrich their friends or fund their ideological objectives. Now that is being used.

  • Zeb||

    So, is NH the only state left without a seat belt law for adults?

  • sarcasmic||

    I think so.

  • Zeb||

    I swear, if I lived in a different state, I'm pretty sure I'd wear my seat belt less, simply because of my contrarian nature. I'm annoyed enough that my car tries to tell me to wear my seat belt.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    It's dangerous. There is an alarm in my car that dings for 10 minutes. It's very distracting.

    Especially if I put groceries in the passenger seat. If there is enough weight, the seat belt alarm goes off...

  • Hyperion||

    So, what you are telling us is that you put 10 cases of beer in the front seat, instead of in the trunk?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I did say groceries, so yeah.

  • Zeb||

    I hate that. I generally wear my seat belt, but just maybe there are times I want to sit in the driver seat with the car on any my seat belt off without being dinged at.

  • GroundTruth||

    Yup, very true. Each time I drive into NH from the PRM (People's Republic of Massachusetts) I ceremonially unclick my seatbelt. Then I refasten it; just because you're free to do (or not do) something doesn't mean you have to do it (or not do) it. Bad drivers abound everywhere, and the the laws of physics are universally enforced.

  • Tim||

    I wear my seatbelt because it makes me feel safe. I don't need to be scanned, night visioned, spied on from a bus.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Excuse me sir, but I'm going to examine the contents of your vehicle now. Hmmm, I think I smell.... POT! Out of the car! ON THE GROUND, MOTHERFUCKER!"

  • Pathogen||

    And that's one to grow on...

  • Kure'i||

    Smelling "the odor of burnt marijuana" seems to be the new version of "bloodshot eyes and clammy skin" I used to see on all the police reports I'd review, giving them probable cause to search the vehicle. I'm surprised they even need drug dogs anymore, as proficient as cops appear to be at detecting the smell of drugs.

    And it's win/win for them: If they do in fact find marijuana -- viola! -- they were right. And if they don't find anything, the civilian goes home, no report is ever issued, and no one's the wiser.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Hey, if it weren't for the annual 'Clickit or ticket' campaigns, cops would never buckle up.

    They are routinely the greatest scofflaws on this matter, as on so many others.

  • Rich||

    "Hey, it's not a cellphone -- it's a laptop!"

  • Tim||

    How many tickets you gotta write to pay for that bus, the unmarked cars and all the cops ? I know it's common to say that they do it to raise money but government being Government they are probably losing money.

  • sarcasmic||

    At a couple hundred bucks a pop, maybe a half a dozen. The rest is gravy.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    What urinates me off is that -despite the politicians solemn promise that the seatbelt law would never become a primary offense- it has become something that they can pull you over for.

    Like they couldn't already use the old tried and true lie that "he drifted over the center line". Now they can use "I didn't see his seatbelt and pulled him over to check."

    There is one asshole cop who regularly sits on a freeway exit ramp and nails people for seat belts.

  • Tim||

    Also that night vision shit for the war on drugs and SWAT teams is now being used to harass ordinary motorists.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Don’t cops have better things to do?

    Not when you have bloated police forces.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Thin Blue Line

  • Pathogen||

    Alt;
    Not when you have bloated police forces pension obligations.

  • Rich||

    Don’t cops have better things to do?

    You're looking at this all wrong, Ted. It's like preventive medicine. If you nip the scofflaw's career in the bud, it won't become drug-related, violent, or worse.

  • Hyperion||

    Exactly. Sure, it starts out will rolling a stop sign or two. Then it's quickly on to not wearing your seat belt. If it's not stopped at that point, it's quickly on to shooting heroin, robbing banks, and before you know it, you're in Iran to become a nuclear physicist and join the jihad to destroy Murkia.

  • Pathogen||

    Every time I see a Reason article like this, I vaguely remember a Reason post where he/she was explaining to their kid how stoplights were a slippery slope to the Third Reich...

  • Onlooker||

    It's not about the seat belts; it's simply pretense for searching for drugs and (they hope) seizing cash.

  • Hyperion||

    There could even be a dog in the car, if they're having a really lucky day.

  • Humberto Brenes||

    I see a market opportunity here, just set up a cab/designated driver checkpoint in front of their DUI checkpoint.

    Then watch them fall all over themselves to claim it's about safety and not revenue.

  • Rev-Match||

    I think I would offer discounts to people based on their BAC. It would be interesting to see how the pigs respond.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    I was in Chicago this weekend. Walking back to my friends' place from a party, a friend grabbed a tree branch and "whipped" it at me right as a cop car was driving by. The lady cop in the passenger seat started yelling at us out the window. I said to my friends "just ignore it and keep on walking." The jackass yelled "yeah that's damn right, just keep on walking!" I'm sure people were getting shot on the south side of the city at that very moment, but these a-holes had nothing better to do than harass us as we walked home.

  • Rich||

    And another thing: When it comes to restraining potential missiles inside moving cars, what's magic about people and dogs? For example, that book the kid's reading in the back seat could decapitate someone in an accident. Ban everything that's not literally bolted down. This means your dentures, too, Grandma.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Muzzles do the job for both Fido and Grandma.

  • Vampire||

    So why does the government need to build roads again? Oh that's right, that form of socialism is magically efficient somehow. --insert mother effing roll eyes smiley--

    Who would travel a road where you get ticketed for all kinds of nonsense? If I owned a stretch of highway, I would want folks to travel as fast as safely possible, I would also ensure the road is durable and lasts ad long as possible using the latest in road technology.

    Customer service rep: Hi, this is DeBlasio roads calling to see why it is you haven't used our road.

    Road customer: eff you, your tickets and those mother effin cops that ticket folks for no reason, and to your nonsense speed limits. Also eff you and your pothole too!

    Customer service rep: but, all those things were for your own good. We ticket you to protect you.

    Road customer: what about the potho.....eff you!! To my delight you fu(ker$ are going out of business too!!! I'll be traveling Vampire roads from now on. Faster commute, no abusive cops, and smooth, safer roads. Effing awesome commute!!!

    Road customers girlfriend: that CEO Vampire is fu(kin hot too!!! I wish they sold a mask of him so I could put it over my boyfriends face.

    Road customer: WTF!!! You know I'm on the phone and I can hear you right!!! I'm leaving you!!!!!!

    Road customers girlfriend: OOoohhh, so we're going to ignore that threesome fantasy with Vampire you were all hot over? Yeah, that's right...now you can go eff yourself!!!

  • retiredfire||

    In California, the claim was that having a seatbelt law would save 2 billion dollars, a year, on insurance costs.
    I am still waiting to see that show up as a reduction in my insurance bill.
    P.S. When did the SCOTUS begin to allow the massive violation of the fourth amendment that road blocks represent. Each time there is an article in the papers about a "successful" DUI "checkpoint" (don't you love the use of the language) the rate of arrests, versus the number of people that have their free passage obstructed, is about 0.1%.

  • 619 Limo||

    it is nessesary to be safe

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