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How much should the fine be for not wearing your seat belt?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 11, 2010

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Photo of Melissa Grubbs

“Maybe $75 because I think there should be a stricter consequence for that action.”

Photo of Breanna Main

“One hundred dollars, something that might actually make you put your seat belt on. Five dollars is not a big enough threat, it’s chump change.”

Photo of Jason Hart

“I don’t think there should probably be a fine. I think that it’s up to people to handle their own safety. I know that there are some situations where a seat belt can create a problem for some people.”

Photo of Grant Babbitt

“The fine could be as much as it can be because I wear my seat belt every time. But in my opinion, the higher the fine, the more likely people are going to wear a seat belt.”

Comments

Stuart Evans 4 years, 2 months ago

after 38 years, I've finally started wearing mine. no, I don't feel safer; I feel confined and restricted. I don't really like it. But an old timer once told me "boy, don't you go around breaking more than one law at a time!" So, since I'm usually breaking one, I can't risk being pulled over for a really stupid one.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 2 months ago

One hour watching videos of fatal car crashes with your eyes taped open a la Clockwork Orange.

Here's a curiosity question. For those who support letting people make their own decision in the matter (a group I happen to subscribe to), what about the kids in the car too young to make their own decisions? Whatever the decision of the adults, it seems kind of like child abuse to not make kids buckle up, sort of. Whatcha think?

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gogoplata 4 years, 2 months ago

Children belong to their parents, not the state. Letting your kid ride in a car without a seatbelt is not child abuse. How many people grew up riding in cars without a seatbelt? I did and I can tell you it is not child abuse. There are just way too many people that like to tell other people how to live their lives. Screw that, I say live and let live.

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LoveThsLife 4 years, 2 months ago

As parents our kids do not 'belong' to us like property. We can't do with them as we wish...that is ridiculous! We have responsibility towards them to keep them safe and care for them. They are people too..even if they are small and can't communicate like an adult. They deserve our thoughtfulness and respect. Respect towards their personal safety and well being.

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gogoplata 4 years, 2 months ago

Children belong to their parents until they are old enough to take care of themselves. I never said we could do with them as we wish. I said letting a kid ride in a car without a seatbelt is not child abuse. Besides the 1st and retarted 2nd line of your post I agree with you.

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LoveThsLife 4 years, 2 months ago

It's called stewardship not ownership and there is a difference.

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gogoplata 4 years, 2 months ago

I agree stewardship is a better word. So I would say that the parents are the stewards of their own children not the state. Parents then can decide to put their own children in seatbelts or not.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 2 months ago

So, if you don't have your kids wearing a seatbelt and you get into a wreck and all of your kids die, do you bear any culpability towards their deaths?

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GardenMomma 4 years, 2 months ago

Yes.

If you are driving recklessly (say, drunk or speeding) and you get into a wreck and kill someone you do "bear culpability towards their deaths"

Why? Because there's a law against driving drunk or over the speed limit just as there's a law to wear your seatbelt.

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gogoplata 4 years, 2 months ago

Depends on how you were driving.

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emaw 4 years, 2 months ago

Next thing you know they are going to be fining people for not wearing condoms!!!!

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm kinda for this. first they would administer an IQ test, based on those results, check for condom usage.

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Frederic Gutknecht IV 4 years, 2 months ago

Fine? It should be...um...nothing(?), unless you are injured in a car wreck (your fault or "theirs"). Then the insurance companies of those involved should be free to dismiss all of your claims. ...tough love...tough love... Ohhh... forget it. It's too tough to play GAWD or 3B-PO (Benificent Big Brutha-Police Officer).

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calwt262 4 years, 2 months ago

Grant looks like a complete tool wearing a decorative foam cooler on his head.

Also, someone needs to tell Grant that riding a bicycle on the sidewalk downtown carries with it a $30.00 fine. Worse yet, sporting a scraggily chin-strap beard with the mustache intentially shaved off carries with it a $200.00 fine and a mandatory 30 days of being clean shaven with a single blade disposable bic razor and barbasol shaving cream.

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Rich Noever 4 years, 2 months ago

Here's the deal Jason. You don't wear the belt and if you are injured in a traffic accident, you are barred from making an injury claim. When you don't mitigate your damages, you lose! Fair enough?

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dabbindan 4 years, 2 months ago

what do you think car insurance is? legislated responsibility.

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rumor_man 4 years, 2 months ago

I only wear mine when I have an open container....so as to offset the fines.

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puddleglum 4 years, 2 months ago

I have had several close encounters with sean penn....one was playing pool. i can't describe what happened because it is so inappropriate, but you guys are on the right track.

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mr_right_wing 4 years, 2 months ago

The consequence is worse injuries than if you were wearing a seat belt and a greater possibility of death.

Good enough motivation for me!

Vince & Larry taught me well as a kid ("You could learn a lot from a dummy!")

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Kat Christian 4 years, 2 months ago

Its $200 in MD and you bet people wear them, except for the idiots who think they are invincable and will never get into a car wreck. Even going 30 miles and hitting something without a seatbelt you can obtain a serious injury then if wearing a belt. Maybe there should be a test site where people who don't believe can test how much impact can cause damage. You'd think they get it then? They woman with the 3 children a couple weeks ago was not wearing a seat belt and none of the children were in restraints and all 3 died. How so very sad and she could have possibly avoided their death had they been in proper restraints. I don't know how the woman is now...anyone?

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dabbindan 4 years, 2 months ago

i'll bet part of her wishes she was........

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amesn 4 years, 2 months ago

4 weeks ago this Friday a seatbelt saved my life after my vehicle rolled several times..surely without it I would have been ejected and killed or at least paralyzed. I believe its a choice but i'm sold!

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dabbindan 4 years, 2 months ago

it just got put in place. leave it where it is for a couple years. it'll give the public a chance to get accustomed to it. increase it too soon and you'll get a backlash and compliance will go down because people will see it as exploitative.

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gccs14r 4 years, 2 months ago

Make the fine income-dependent and start it at two weeks gross pay, with a second offense in five years a suspended license and a trebled fine (six weeks pay) and the third offense in five years a revoked license and a trebling of the second fine (18 weeks pay). Oh, and make the fine per offender, so if you have seven people aboard and none of them are wearing a seatbelt, the fine starts at 14 weeks pay. If there are more people aboard than there are seatbelts available, make the fine $10,000 per unbelted passenger in addition to the unbelted occupant fine. Post giant signs at every border crossing with a second giant warning one mile in from the border and signs at every highway junction so folks passing through definitely get the message. Then enforce it with no plea-bargaining.

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kansasmutt 4 years, 2 months ago

$0.00 is just fine. The law is BS. if you ride with someone and you dont trust the way they drive, buckle up. This is as bad as telling us to wear bots while driving instead of tennis shoes, its BS. The law is bogus.

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GardenMomma 4 years, 2 months ago

What if you trust the person driving and you still end up in an accident? Wearing a seatbelt can protect you from serious injury.

If you "choose" not to wear your seatbelt and you're in an accident, can I "choose" not to pay for the first responders and other expenses that you incur that are covered by taxpayer support (like the police, 911 dispatchers, etc.)

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gogoplata 4 years, 2 months ago

The police and 911 dispatchers are going to repond to an accident. It doesn't matter if you were wearing a seatbelt or not.

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