Seatbelt laws....do they work?

March 24, 2010 at 10:30:16
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Living in a tourist town, the police give out tickets for people not wearing seatbelts. That is fine...BUT...when spring break rolls in there are lots of pickup trucks with people riding in the back of the pickup trucks not wearing anything.

How can a seatbelt law work if they allow the above? Those riders are not protected in any way.
I got a seatbelt ticket and probably should have fought it in court because of the above, unfortunately I didn't, so I really don't know if the charge could be dismissed.

Another thing is, during spring break, some of the kids are intoxicated and high and hanging out of car windows etc.....maybe this county is totally messed up with their laws.

I myself believe, if you make a law, enforce it for everyone, what do you think?

PS: I guess I'm just fed up with the loud boom boxes and massly intoxicated kids who may be our next leaders...who knows? I should be fine in a couple of weeks LOL
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#1
March 24, 2010 at 13:41:50
Disclaimer: As I re-read this prior to posting, I saw that it could be taken as "harsh". I don't mean it that way...I'm just making conversation, so please don't read anything into the "tone". I’m too lazy to retype it and make it sound nicer. :-)

re: I really don't know if the charge could be dismissed.

In general, I don't think I've ever seen a traffic charge not get at least reduced if you simply go through the effort to contact the DA/ADA assigned to your case.

A Speeding Ticket becomes a "Failure to heed a traffic device" etc. No points, just fines.

I once had the Judge's Clerk say to me "Ah, I see you've accepted the Plea of Day."

re: people riding in the back of the pickup trucks not wearing anything

You'd need to look up the law in your specific jurisdiction. Some states allow adults to ride in the bed only when the cab is full. Others allow it anytime. Other's have laws that state the tailgate must be closed, etc. It varies and it might not be illegal where you live.

I understand your point about "Why have seatbelt laws if you can ride in an open bed?" but I think the fact that the percentage of people riding in the bed of a pickup is so minuscule compared the number of passengers riding inside cars and trucks that the seatbelt law makes very good sense.

re: some of the kids are intoxicated and high and hanging out of car windows ...this county is totally messed up with their laws.

If they are not driving and are wearing their seatbelts, albeit a bit loosely, then what law are they breaking? (Assuming they are of legal drinking age)

re: I myself believe, if you make a law, enforce it for everyone, what do you think?

I agree, but what law are they not enforcing equally? If, in the above cases, the only law in questions states that passengers inside the vehicle must wear seatbelts, and the police are ticketing those that don't (such as you) aren't they doing exactly what you are asking about?

re: I guess I'm just fed up with the loud boom boxes

Is there a noise ordinance in your town? If that's not being enforced, then you have a beef and should take it up with authorities.

re: and massly intoxicated kids who may be our next leaders

I'd be willing to guess that more than one of our current and former leaders were, at some point in their past, "massly intoxicated kids". I know I was and I now coach our young children in various sports. Should I be banned from doing that based on how I acted in a very former life?

P.S. I'm just taking a guess here, but are your taxes lower than they would be if these rotten kids weren't spending their parent's money in your town every year? :-)


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#2
March 25, 2010 at 04:34:02
LMAO Sorry. In the mid eighties I found myself stuck at the Naval technical training center in Panama Beach Fl. during spring break. I was not aware of spring break as I had been away for awhile and basically really didn't care I just wanted to get away from the ship for a while. I attempted to make my way down the "Miracle Strip" along the beach. I stopped at a small mom and pops place and got a 6 pack and attemted to get back on the road thinking I would find a quite spot on the beach and drink my beer relax a bit and go back to the ship. I finished that 6 pack before I could get back out of the parking lot because of the bumper to bumper traffic. All kids screaming and blasting their music, hanging out of their cars and trucks. Drinking in plain site while driving. I finally made it down the beach about a mile when I found some other guys from my ship so I stopped and hung with them in a small parking lot just watching the train of kids go by. Granted I wasn't much older than them. I saw a great deal of officers busting kids for their drinking but it still didn't make a dent.

I agree the seat belt law doesn't seem to cover everyone. When the law was first started here in Fl. it was ruled that the officer had to stop you for another infraction in order to also ticket you for the seat belt, right to privacy they said, that has since been resended. 2 months after the law hit the books I got hit for my seat belt or rather the lack of it and nothing else. My neighbor at the time was a lawyer he is the one that told me of the privacy issue. He said had the officer not stopped me for another infraction how could he know I was not wearing my seatbelt. So I attempted to fight it by informing the clerk of courts that I would need a court date to do so. The clerk I spoke with took my ticket and told me the charge was denied and sent me on my way. I did start wearing my seatbelt though.. I did see a wreck when I was younger where the person probibly would not have gotten a scratch had the seatbelt or actually the shoulderbelt not caught his neck and snapped it but I think that is rare.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

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#3
March 25, 2010 at 06:22:49
I don't think the issue is seat belts per se. It sounds like a lack of enforcement to me.

I get it though from a police and a town perspective. They want the $$$ these kids bring to the community. If the police put up check stops and handed out tickets for no seat belts, drinking/driving, and open liquor I think they, and the town, worry the kids would find somewhere else to party and spend their $$$.

Personally, I think they should have roadblock/check sites setup and should bust everybody's ass. My best friend's mother was killed by a drunk driver and I know of far too many kids on holidays or spring break who got drunk and drove and died when they rolled over and weren't wearing a seatbelt that would have saved them.

This may be something to bring up at a town council meeting.


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#4
March 25, 2010 at 12:11:53
re: This may be something to bring up at a town council meeting.

You mean the same town council that wants "the $$$ these kids bring to the community"?

My guess is that you'll get a lot of nods and verbal agreement. Then as soon as they get behind closed doors they'll make sure nothing changes so that the $$$ keep coming in.

Color me cynical.


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#5
March 25, 2010 at 15:23:28
Personally, I think they should have roadblock/check sites setup and should bust everybody's ass.
My feelings too! What is good for the goose should be good for the gander.

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#6
March 26, 2010 at 14:50:21
My question would be, what's the state law where you live? If it's "Click it or Ticket" like it is here in PA, then anyone violating the law is cited. It used to be (here at least) that you had to be pulled over for something else, so the seat belt violation was a secondary offense. It's not that way anymore.

I always wear my seatbelt and have since I was in the military and it was required on base...regardless of the state law.

And, yes. They work. They save lives.

id10t


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#7
March 26, 2010 at 20:41:08
Having driven a few racecars I kind of wish we used a harness system like in the racecar. I know not many would make full use of it though because it takes a few minutes to strap in right. I have gotten myself in positions on the track that with an ordinary seatbelt I would have easily lost control of the car. Never really been in a bad enough crash to say that the harness saved my life but have seen many that I am sure it did. Thr harness system holds you in place so much better and I reaaly don't care for the shoulder belt that will end up across your throat if your torso isn't at least so long. I would rather bang my head on the wheel.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#8
March 26, 2010 at 21:03:43
Regarding the tourist dollars, I fully understand that. I forget when but I remember they started cracking down on the kids in Ft. Lauderdale and for at least a few years they lost out in a big way to Panama City. When I was a kid spring break wasn't real big here but it brought in a few bucks on the beach each year. They started enforcing "family only areas" ,no drinking, on the beach and some of those business that did so great every year disappeared. Now we get a few kids here but nothing like the past which is ok with me. I live near the water but not near the "beach" area and since they started chasing off some of the drunks we don't even notice spring break on this side of town anymore. I know that means less money in revenue for the town but for me it means less time behind someone swerving with their left blinker on for miles at a time. Or having to watch the driver in front of you try to read a map while driving along in their rental car. Don't have to stop at a gas station and be bombarded by " where can I score some dude". Being brought up in the south I am a very neighborly person but i am not living the "deliverence" lifestyle with a farm full of pot i am protecting from the feds and looking to sell to every rich brat I meet. Although I have met a few I felt like dragging home and skinning.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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