Archive for Monday, March 8, 2010

Painless gain

A stronger seat belt law would be a good idea even if it didn’t mean a financial windfall for the state.

March 8, 2010


This literally would be the most painless way Kansas could put $10 million into the state general fund.

As part of the proposals he announced Friday to balance the state budget for the current fiscal year, Gov. Mark Parkinson said he was urging state legislators to pass a primary seat belt law for Kansas. Such a law would allow law enforcement officers to stop and ticket motorists solely because they were not wearing seat belts. Current state law allows tickets for not wearing a seat belt only as a secondary offense, meaning motorists must be stopped for some other infraction first.

Passing a primary seat belt law would bring an estimated $11 million in federal funds to the state. Some of the money would be for highway projects, but $10 million could go into the state general fund to help offset the current budget shortfall.

That’s a short-term gain for the state. The long-term gain would be a law that has increased seat-belt use in other states and reduced traffic deaths. Even without additional enforcement, simply having the law on the books will encourage more people to buckle up.

It’s something the state should do even if it didn’t need the $11 million. With the money incentive, it’s simply a no-brainer.


SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 2 months ago

First, the government has no right to impose seat belt laws upon rational adults. I'm willing to tolerate seat belt laws for children because they a generally unable to make sensible decisions about their own saftety. Adults, however, do not need a nanny-state telling them how to care for themselves.

Second, state government does not need more of our money. Rather, state government needs to collect and spend less of it.

Bob_Keeshan 8 years, 2 months ago

STRS is likely pro-life.

I guess the government has the right to impose certain things but not others.

Bruce Liddel 8 years, 2 months ago

Seatbelts don't prevent accidents. Seat belts only save lives whey they are worn properly AND there is a serious collision.

I wear my seatbelt any time my car is in motion, or in traffic, as any rational person should, but I don't think the Nanny-state needs another cockamamie reason to stop motorists and "enhance revenue". Law Enforcement Officers will become known more commonly as "highway robbers". After all, it is nearly impossible to prove you were wearing your seatbelt, after you are stopped by a corrupt highway robber willing to say you were not.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 2 months ago


How do you correlate abortion with the notion of free people making decisions about their own safety?

gatekeeper 8 years, 2 months ago

STRS - so, you're saying it's ok for a free person to make a decision about what's best for themselves? Really? Then we won't hear any more about how abortion has to be illegal? That's a woman deciding what is best for herself (a free person). Sometimes, a woman's health (safety) is threatened and an abortion is the only way to keep herself "safe" (most late term abortions).

That's the correlation.

tomatogrower 8 years, 2 months ago

STRS, so if you are paralyzed in an accident, because you didn't wear a seatbelt, you wouldn't sign up for disability, and you are wealthy enough to take care of yourself? if this is true, then don't wear your seat belt. If it isn't true, yes, we have a right to demand you wear it. Create waivers for those who are willing to not take government help if they are injured while not wearing the seat belts. Then let them flop around in cars.

Seat belts can actually make an accident less severe in some cases, because the driver is not flying around in the car, and can maintain more control.

Bruce Liddel 8 years, 1 month ago

"maintain more control"? Is that like being a little bit pregnant? Sorry, but if a driver is really in control, there is no accident. Obviously, any driver who is "flying around in the car" has already lost all control.

However, so as not to incite a prolonged argument, Yes, I will concede that seat-belts can slightly improve a driver's ability to control a vehicle under violent maneuvering, just as bucket seats with lateral support were an improvement (for drivers) over bench seats.

I believe in seat-belts. Really. Sure, put a phrase in auto insurance policies and don't cover serious injury when the insurance company can prove the injured occupant was not wearing a belt. I just have major issues with the "revenue enhancement" aspect of a primary enforcement law on seat-belts. It is ripe for government fraud, corruption, and abuse, of which we have too much already.

Bob_Keeshan 8 years, 2 months ago

Does the government have "the right" to impose a speed limit? Do adults need a nanny state telling them how fast to drive?

Just one more gaping hole in the ideologically driven opposition to a primary seat belt law.

ivalueamerica 8 years, 2 months ago

the people who wine..nanny state...

Do not want laws about seat-belts or helmets But expect the police and rescue to be there if they have an accident

Do not want government involved in insurance regulation but expect insurance to pay their bills if they are injured or killed as a result of an accident... but do not want to pay higher insurance premiums.

Want to right to smoke wherever and whenver they feel like but do not want to pay taxes to support the family who´s mother died of second hand smoke working in a restaurant because she was poor and lacked education and alternatives in a hard economy.

the false whine of nanny state folks are so two faced it is comical. What they want is no rules, but also no responsibility for a world without rules.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 2 months ago


Because abortion ends a separate, living human life, a correlation between abortion and seat belt usage does not exist.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 2 months ago


Following your logic, the government has a right to limit, mitigate or prohibit any risky behavior.

Because snow skiing creates a chance that someone will be paralyzed (and thus become a ward of the state), perhaps we should outlaw that? And because rock climbing is inherently dangerous, perhaps the state has an interest in limiting free people's enjoyment of that activity? How about boxing? Or bull riding? I'd think those activities are much more dangerous than driving around without a seat belt. Should our government further involve itself in our lives by passing laws covering those risky activities.? You'd probably say yes.

And telling me, "then don't wear your seat belt" isn't a realistic option when our government can fine me for not complying with its law.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 2 months ago


First of all, you beat your chest and use condescension as if you're some sort of intellectual powerhouse when in reality, many of your arguments are specious at best.

Second, if someone wants to risk their own life or health, it is their right and their decision. It is not the responsibility of an omnipotent government to force good decision-making onto a nation of free people.

Bob_Keeshan 8 years, 2 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight (anonymous) says…

Second, if someone wants to risk their own life or health, it is their right and their decision. It is not the responsibility of an omnipotent government to force good decision-making onto a nation of free people.

Huh, that's weird. I fail to see how a primary seat belt law forces you to wear it. You are still free to risk your own life or health.

The truth is, if you are spied without your seat belt by law enforcement you will be ticketed. Why? Because if you reach over for your cell phone and slip off of K-10 doing a responsible 65 mph you're still going to go through the windshield. Then you're going to burden EMS, require extra law enforcement, and given your likely death cause shutdown of K-10 with traffic being re-routed onto side roads.

As a free person myself, I'm going to wonder why there isn't some law to help prevent freedom loving people like yourself from adding 30 minutes to my commute on a Friday evening.

BTW, that's exactly why you're going to get a ticket for wearing your seat belt while doing 85 mph. Because the rest of us free people don't want to end up picking up the tab for the freedom to die you decided to exercise.

Per usual, the only thing specious around here is your user name.

PS - boxing is regulated by state governments. Rock climbing, as well, is typically governed by government law or regulation when it occurs on government property. For other winter activities which occur on government property, including skiing and snowmobiling, there are also restrictions.

However, you are free to rock climb, ski, etc. on private lands however you please. How does this apply to the operation of a vehicle on government owned roads? You do realize the government owns almost all the roads, right?

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