Don't Buckle Up and Help Your State Make Its Budget!


The state of Ohio, facing a $7.3 billion budget deficit over the next two years, is considering a change in its seat belt law. Like some 14 other states, the Buckeye State is mulling a switch to a "primary enforcement law," which would allow cops to pull people over if they think drivers aren't wearing a restraint. Currently, a citation can only be issued after being pulled over for another violation.

Why are states thinking about making the switch? It's not to save lives. It's to make money:

Ohio would get $26.8 million from the federal government. Currently, law enforcement officers in the state need to have some other reason to stop drivers over before issuing seat-belt citations….

"The budget includes a primary seat-belt enforcement law because evidence suggests it saves lives and to bring additional federal resources for highway safety," said spokesman Keith Dailey.

All is not lost, gentle readers, however. The AP suggests that the change may not happen, at least in Ohio. Why?

Still, the proposed change faces obstacles in states like Ohio, where many Republicans—who control the Senate—oppose it because of libertarian philosophies.

To put it bluntly, when you're expecting Republicans to protect your freedom or your money because of their "libertarian philosophies" just color it gone. Think about the last eight years at the national level (and for Ohioans, think about life under Gov. Bob Taft, idiot scion of a famous political family).

I wear a safety belt when I drive or ride in a car because it makes sense. It doesn't make sense to change laws for a paltry handout from the feds, especially when that change will likely to police abuse in the form of more arbitrary stops.

Whole thing here.

Reason on seat belt laws.