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Should police be allowed to stop a vehicle because passengers aren’t wearing seat belts?

Response Percent Votes
55% 827
44% 675
Total 1502


Chris Ogle 9 years, 1 month ago

Once I started wearing a seat belt, In became as easy to remember as the car keys.... where are those things??

knarbo 9 years, 1 month ago

a strict seatbelt law in a state where wearing a helmet isn't manditory....

saoirseglen 9 years, 1 month ago

I wear a seatbelt when I drive and I wear a helmet when I ride because they make sense. However, by making it a primary law it is just another reason to pull someone over who otherwise was not doing anything to cause an accident or harm to others.

If someone makes the choice to wear or not wear a safety device in or on their personal vehicle, that is their choice. I may not agree with it, but they made the decision.

In or on my personal vehicles passengers need to use the safety equipment. I wear a seatbelt while in the car of someone else because it makes sense to me to do so.

All of it is personal choice.

So we pull someone over for their passenger not wearing a seat belt yet they don't pull cars over who have no lights on at night or in inclement weather? That is where a personal choice, to drive without lights on, does affect other people.

doc1 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm not wearing a seatbelt when I ride my Goldwing. Can they stop me for that?

Chris Ogle 9 years, 1 month ago

An better no brainer would be to avoid hitting the car.

jafs 9 years, 1 month ago

I would expect that someone not wearing their seatbelt would be partly liable in case of an accident.

Isn't there something called "contributory negligence"?

workinghard 9 years, 1 month ago

Just throwing a thought out there, some drivers become permantly disabled and recieve government support, (medical, housing, and monthly check) for the remainder of their life. Government support means taxpayers money.

alm77 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't care if they pull me over, but the passenger better be the one getting the ticket.

mleanna 9 years, 1 month ago

alm77, I'd be quite willing to tell my passengers to buckle up (I've never needed to) before I go anywhere. Besides the fact that I care about the safety of anyone who has ever been in my car, even if I didn't, I sure wouldn't want their body flying through my windshield if there were an accident.

Anyway, though, this does seem like a personal choice (though I still can't understand why some people make the choice they do). Unfortunately, workinghard, the choices people make often affect the rest of us, through government support or health insurance premiums being higher, but we don't mandate those choices (e.g., smoking, diet, exercise).

I do think it's a different matter when it comes to children being buckled up properly, as keeping your children safe is not a personal choice issue. If nothing else, such parents need a reminder that they are endangering their children.

SofaKing 9 years, 1 month ago

When I see little kids unbuckled, leaning over the front seat, I want to pull them over.

dandelion 9 years, 1 month ago

If anyone riding in my car refuses to put on their seat belt, front or back, they can start walking, because I won't even start the car.

jumpin_catfish 9 years, 1 month ago

grammaddy said…It's the law!! So what, the same people who make our laws don't pay their taxes or break the law but tell us under the threat of fine and/or imprisonment to pay our taxes. Here's an idea, freedom to be stupid. It was the America dream once upon a time. When you don't use available safety equipment your insurance could refuse to pay your medical expenses. So what's next big brother going to make it a law to brush my teeth. I'm serious!!

One exception would be if an officer observed children unrestrained, then pull 'em over.

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 1 month ago

It is clearly documented that when people do NOT wear their seatbelts, and have accidents, their injuries are worse.

The result:

Higher insurance rates for both cars and health insurance

A greater chance that the injured or deceased family will go on some form of public assistance, increasing my tax burden

greater chance ambulance or more police will be required to respond to the scene of the accident, leaving them unable to address other problems.

same goes for motorcyclists who will not wear helmets..they see it as their freedom, but they end up costing me more money and I want to be free of their debts.

Ticket the heck out of them.

sand_rat 9 years, 1 month ago

They cannot pull you over for not wearing your seat belt...thats the law...they have to have a reason to pull you over first.

verity 9 years, 1 month ago

To enlarge on what workinghard said---my health insurance costs and taxes pay for your care when you are injured due to not wearing a seatbelt. If you want to take financial responsibility for all your expenses should you be injured due to not wearing a seatbelt, then that's your choice. But don't try to make this about eroding personal freedom. You are eroding my personal freedom not to have to pay for your stupidity.

gccs14r 9 years, 1 month ago

"75x55 (Anonymous) says…

It doesn't affect the operation of the vehicle, impair the driver's ability to safely drive."

It does anytime you're not traveling in a straight line. When turning, if you're not belted in, parf of your attention is diverted to holding yourself in the seat, rather than actually driving. In a collision, you're suddenly going to be somewhere else in (or out of) the car, rather than behind the wheel where you could still have some control over where it ends up.

notajayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Yes, they should pull people over for not wearing their seatbelt.

And make them put out that cigarette - and check to be sure that mug in the cupholder has fruit juice, not coffee or pop..

And make sure they ate a healthy breakfast and got enough sleep last night.

Oh, and that they bundled up against the cold.

After that they should pull over a fat person turning into McDonalds.

And why aren't the police doing something about this 'running with scissors' epidemic?

gsxr600 9 years, 1 month ago

If someone I knew had been wearing their seatbelt when they got t-boned at 70mph, the doctors said they'd be dead. The belt at that force could've sliced her neck. Most of the time seat belts save lives, but they are never a guarantee for safe driving. Not wearing a seatbelt does not affect the safety of others around you. Neither does a helmet. As much as I support these safety devices and use them everyday, it must legally be a personal choice. You should have the RIGHT to make your decision on what to do. Objects such as cell phones should be banned across the board while driving. Studies have proved in extreme cases it is as dangerous and driving drunk. Things like that should be banned....

compmd 9 years, 1 month ago

Not wearing a seatbelt and not wearing a helmet are factors that increase the cost and time required for an EMS response in an accident. Why should the public have to pay because someone stupid or careless was ejected from their car/thrown off their motorcycle and splattered their brain on the road?

gsxr600 9 years, 1 month ago

Helmets and seat belts don't cause accidents.... You can't restrict someone from something that doesn't contribute to an accident. Period.

gsxr600 9 years, 1 month ago

By "others around you" I'm referring to other cars, motorists but thanks!

ralphralph 9 years, 1 month ago

The standard for stopping (a/ka/ seizing) you and your vehicle will be "a reasonable suspicion that an occupant of the vehicle was not wearing a safety belt." That means the officer would simply have to say that it looked as if someone in your car may not have been wearing a seatbelt -- which does not even have to be accurate to make the stop legal -- and it's open season on your freedom to go on your way (a/k/a liberty). That standard is no standard at all ... it will be completely arbitrary, period. Bad idea, bad law.

notajayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

autie (Anonymous) says…

"Government can not legislate stupidity. It is like natural selection. If one gets caught not wearing the seat belt, simply shoot them and toss them off in the tall grass."

No need to shoot them. Just let evolution work the way it's supposed to.

We should also do away with those stupid warning stickers telling people not to stick their heads in the towel loop or use the microwave oven in the shower - if they don't already know that, we probably don't want them producing the next generation of the human race.

pissedinlawrence 9 years, 1 month ago

No, because me and my friends are too fat for seat belts. its discrimination!!!!!

George_Braziller 9 years, 1 month ago

I put on my seatbelt so automatically I do it even if I'm only moving my vehicle 20 feet.

ditchdoc 9 years, 1 month ago

In my twelve years as a paramedic I have seen only one death that could have been atributed to wearing a seatbelt. It was also obvious that if the person had not been wearing thier belt they would have been dead. Do not think that not wearing a seatbelt may save your life if you are involved in a collision. Your chances of death or debilitating injury are increased greatly once your body exits from a vehicle during a collsion. If you are involved in a near collision your chances of avoiding that collision are greatly increased if you are firmly belted into your seat where you are better able to control your vehicle as opposed being thrown around the car while you are swerving. As far as personal choice is concerned, no one has taken that from you. The law does not state you must wear a seatbelt. It simply states that you risk the consequence of a ticket if you do not wear one. It is the same as if you speed. The law does not take away your right to drive as fast as you want. It does provide a consequence if you get caught by law enforcement doing it. You still have a choice. It just carries a consequence. Consider a different consequence. What if you were to get pulled over and get a ticket for not wearing a belt. Unpleasant consequence. What if five minutes later you are involved in a collision and your life is saved because you are still wearing that belt the officer made you put on. If you ask me the ticket is a better consequence. But then again, I am biased because I really don't want to have to scrape your brains off of my boots after they are smeared all over the road.

Gabe Hoffman 9 years, 1 month ago

What about the fact that police can use this as yet another excuse to profile drivers. It should remain a secondary offense.

Alexander Neighbors 9 years, 1 month ago

I would not have a problem with this as long as there was a citizens police review board because I could see this being abused. Especially by a few bad lawrence police officers who think the doesn't apply to them.

George_Braziller 9 years, 1 month ago

Profile drivers? For what? Being stupid and having a death wish? Ohhhhh, please explain your logic on this one.

00jester (Anonymous) says… What about the fact that police can use this as yet another excuse to profile drivers. It should remain a secondary offense.

Gabe Hoffman 9 years, 1 month ago

It's the same premise of if you can hear your car stereo more than 50 feet you can get a ticket. One way for police to target certain drivers. On the other hand, you can have a motorcycle that you can hear coming from a mile away or a car missing it's flex pipe and the exhaust rattles the buildings; but, certainly, tactics like this are not aimed at any particular type of driver.

It's not an argument of a drivers decision to be stupid or not, lots of people do lots of stupid things, as it is their choice. And I'm not arguing the fact that it's the law, but it's a secondary offense.

I'm sure we'll see far more late model cars, with a more youth based occupancy, than say a newer model car with older drivers, both who were not wearing their safety belts.

Profiling exist.

Hoots 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't understand why Kansas has a belt law but no helmet law. I ride and I can tell you I always wear one. I also always wear my seatbelt. If we had a helmet law they would pull me over if I didn't have one on like they do in many states so I don't see the difference when not wearing a seatbelt.

George_Braziller 9 years, 1 month ago

Huh? What does a loud stereo have to do with not wearing your seatbelt? Who are these "certain drivers" you're talking about? People driving blue cars or Hummers or pickups or VW bugs or . . . the list goes on.

00jester (Anonymous) says… It's the same premise of if you can hear your car stereo more than 50 feet you can get a ticket. One way for police to target certain drivers.

Gabe Hoffman 9 years, 1 month ago

Sorry George, I thought that by explaining why it would lead to more profiling, by giving a specific example of one that's already in place, would give you some insight as to what I was arguing.

No, seat belts and stereos have nothing to do with each other in respect to correlation. They do, however, give police an excuse to pull someone over, that otherwise, they had no probable reason to do so.

I believe I also gave a blanket description of the people they will, and in the stereo situation, do now, pull over if you go back and read the post thoroughly.

Daytrader23 9 years, 1 month ago

I have a friend who is still alive because he WASN'T wearing a seatbelt. Lost control on an icy mountain pass went over the edge and was ejected before his car fell off a 800 ft. cliff. Not a problem in Kansas but with seat belts the odds are 50/50. A friend of a friend died because she could not get out of a burning car due to her seatbelt being jammed. Seat belts are not for me, So don't tread on me.

Daytrader23 9 years, 1 month ago

And no, cops should not have the right to pull you over for a seatbelt. Don't they have better things to do? Like find meth labs?

del888 9 years, 1 month ago

if it is the law that you have to wear a seatbelt, then YES, they should be able to ticket you WHENEVER you break the law. It is the law in many states. I drive an over-the-road truck and it is common for truckers to get stopped for a seatbelt check. It is also common to see people thrown out of their car for not having one on.

Beth Ennis 9 years, 1 month ago

ask the family of the woman killed last fall on Hwy 10 how they feel about it. Their mother was killed when hit head on and the unbelted passenger in the car who crossed the median and hit her went through the window and in to her killing her. It not only drives up all of our insurance costs, but this was a case where it killed someone else. Anyone who thinks it doesn't affect all of us is very wrong.

gccs14r 9 years, 1 month ago


Perhaps your friend lost control of the car because he wasn't wearing a seatbelt. As for your estimate of survivability odds, BS. I don't have a figure in front of me, but I can tell you that the fatality rate among seatbelt wearers is not 50%.

MR_L 9 years, 1 month ago

Here we go........Nothing worse than making it all the way to adulthood only to find out you are still getting told what to do. Seat belts should always be a choice. Sometimes you wear clothes that feel darn right uncomfortable scrunched up in a seat belt. Some days you ride with your crazy tail-gating Aunt Nancy and you put on your seat belt out of fear. Leave people alone. In this economy nobody can afford to pay a ticket. There are over 6 million ways to die. Bumblebee sting, swine flu, or choking on food. Just a few things that can happen after you arrive to your destination safely in your seat belt.

Hoots 9 years, 1 month ago

If seatbelts were only a 50/50 deal then they wouldn't be required in any form of auto racing. I just love the examples of how not wearing one saved a life. Granted there is the random time it worked out but just take a look at all the stories on LJworld or anywhere else that we see people ejected from a vehicle and they are crushed by the vehicle or are killed by the impact of being thrown. Fine...don't wear your seatbelt. Unless I love you it makes no difference to me what happens to you anyway. Ultimately you are then just another statistic.

asphhauler 9 years, 1 month ago

Although I voted no the reason is simple ,if they make it a Law they would need to make sure all auto makers make and provide extenions for those who are to large to wear them.The auto maker that makes the car I drive says they will only make seatbelts for people that weigh less than 215 Lbs.

9070811 9 years, 1 month ago

It's a personal freedom. You wanna risk your life and not wear one, that's fine. Although that may increase involuntary manslaughter.

KSChick1 9 years, 1 month ago

Personaly knew somebody who died because the seat belt sliced her arm off in an otherwise minor wreck. RIP Cinnamon!

roger_o_thornhill 9 years, 1 month ago

What are the numbers on the dangers of being stopped on the side of the road? Is just being pulled over inherently more dangerous than not wearing a seat belt?

gontek 9 years, 1 month ago

should the police be allowed to enforce the laws? Id say yes, that is their job, let them do it, and buckle up if the law requires it.

kmat 9 years, 1 month ago

For everyone screaming that's it's personal choice and don't take away my liberties. Guess what? Driving is a privaledge, not a right. They can dictate what you can and can't do while driving. I think if you're dumb enough to not wear a seatbelt you don't need that license.

Many states will pull you over for not wearing your seatbelt. And don't use the "a policeman or highway patrol man has no idea if you have your seatbelt on or off. There is no way they could know" excuse. There are very few cars on the road that don't have shoulder strap seatbelts. It's very easy to see if someone is wearing their seat belt. Only very old cars will only have the basic around the waist belts and those are pretty dangerous and you should replace them if you drive an antique car.

kmat 9 years, 1 month ago

Here's some good info. We would save $8.8 billion annually if you just wore your seat belts!!!

Failure to wear a seat belt contributes to more fatalities than any other single traffic safety-related behavior. 63% of people killed in accidents are not wearing seat belts. Data suggests that education alone is not doing the job with young people, especially males ages 16 to 25 ­ the age group least likely to buckle up. They simply do not believe they will be injured or killed. Yet they are the nation's highest-risk drivers, with more drunk driving, more speeding, and more crashes. Neither education nor fear of injury or death is strong enough to motivate this tough-to-reach group.

Rather, it takes stronger seat belt laws and high visibility enforcement campaigns to get them to buckle up.

If 90 percent of Americans buckle up, we will prevent more than 5,500 deaths and 132,000 injuries annually.

On average, inpatient hospital care costs for an unbelted crash victim are 50 percent higher than those for a belted crash victim.

Society bears 85 percent of those costs, not the individuals involved. Every American pays about $580 a year toward the cost of crashes. If everyone buckled up, this figure would drop significantly.

gccs14r 9 years, 1 month ago

"the moral of the story is a policeman or highway patrol man has no idea if you have your seatbelt on or off. There is no way they could know."

Unless it's dark or you have deep-tinted windows, the seatbelt buckle hanging from the pillar is easy to see.

"seatbelt sliced her arm off"


momfromlawrence 9 years, 1 month ago

I would have to agree with gsxr600. I don't think that the law should force you to do something that isn't hurting others. Are they going to pass a law that all toilets have to be flushed or a ticket will be written? It is my vehicle, I am not hurting anyone, I should not be forced to do something that could not cause fault to anyone. Why don't they pull someone over who does not use their turn signal? Why not enforce those laws and give stronger penalties to those who speed, drive without a license, talking on the cell phone, texting while driving? Those will cause more of an accident than someone not having their seat belt on. Changing the radio station could cause an accident. It should be my right to save my life or not. I also don't wear a helmet when I ride. A helmet can block the vision of the motorist. I know they save lives, but accidents happen because the other driver is not concentrating on their driving, but rather talking on the cell, texting their friends or arguing with the child in the back seat. Oh! Let's not ticket the person who causes the accident because they were eating and dropped a piece in their lap and had to find it at that moment. A seat belt does not always save a life. It can end it as well. It should be my choice not a law.

jafs 9 years, 1 month ago

The question is whether not wearing a seat belt affects only the driver, or others as well.

If it only affects the individual, then everyone should be permitted to be as stupid as they wish.

If, otoh, it affects others, then it should be required.

Btw, what about children in a vehicle where the adult doesn't wear a seat belt, and gets into a fatal accident? Doesn't that affect the children?

gccs14r 9 years, 1 month ago

If you wear it under your arm, you're more likely to eat the steering wheel in an accident.

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