Repeal Seat-Belt Laws

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State
mandatory seat belt laws represent unabated tyranny on the march
as each year law enforcement is expanded. Such laws infringe on
a person’s rights as guaranteed in the Fourth, Fifth, and the Ninth
Amendments, and the Civil Rights section of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Seat belt laws are an unwarranted intrusion by government into the
personal lives of citizens; they deny through prior restraint the
right to determine a person’s own individual personal health care
standards for his own body, the ultimate private property. Not using
a seat belt is a victimless, state-created crime that does not hurt
or threaten anyone.

While seat belt use might save some people in certain kinds of traffic
accidents, there is ample proof that in other kinds of traffic accidents
some people have been more seriously injured and even killed because
of forced seat belt use. Also, some people are alive today only
because a seat belt was not used in certain kinds of traffic accidents.
In those cases, the malicious nature of seat belt laws is revealed:
by law, the victim is subject to a fine for not dying in the accident.

The fact is, the government has no constitutional authority to knowingly
maim and kill some people just because the government hopes to save
others merely by chance. The fact is, the government has no right
to take chances with a person’s body against his/her will; has no
right to play Russian roulette with a person’s life.

We do not allow our doctor to send the police over to our homes
to check on whether or not we are following the doctor’s individual
personal health care orders and, if not, to issue a ticket and fine,
so why do we allow politicians to send the police over to our personally
owned autos, vans and trucks to see if we are following the politicians’
health care orders, that is the use of a health care device, a seat
belt harness?

The fact is, if a doctor attempted to force a person to use a health
care device, take a drug, or have surgery to protect a person’s
individual personal health, the doctor would be subject to prosecution,
and rightly so. Yet, politicians are doing exactly that same thing
in forcing people to use a health care device, a seat belt harness,
against a person’s will, a device that can even be lethal in certain
circumstances, all in violation of the Bill of Rights.

The right to determine one’s own individual personal health care
standards was confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1991 when the
Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the management of Johnson
Controls, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, based battery manufacturing company,
to forbid women of child-bearing age from certain higher paying
jobs that exposed them to lead products, a known substance that
is dangerous to a woman’s reproductive organs. The Court ruled that
such a decision must be made by each person, not management, regardless
of any risks to a person’s health, and regardless of any subsequent
increase in the company’s health care plan.

Further, in 1993, a federal appeals court ruled that the Americans
With Disabilities Act applies to the obese. In so doing, the court
upheld a $100,000 jury award to a 320-pound woman who sued her employer
after she was told she could not return to work unless she lost
weight. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had earlier
declared obesity a protected right, even though obesity is not even
mentioned in the Act and it is a self-inflected serious health hazard.
With the appeals court ruling, that once, again, confirmed a person’s
constitutional right to determine his/her own individual personal
health care standards. Stepping inside a motor vehicle cannot nullify
such a constitutional right, notwithstanding politicians who think
otherwise in supporting state mandatory seat belt harness laws.

Seat belts are an after-the-fact device. As such, not one penny
of the millions of tax dollars annually spent in support of seat
belt laws has ever prevented even one traffic accident. Further,
because wearing a seat belt gives a person a certain sense of safety
as promised by the government, studies have shown that drivers will
tend to drive more recklessly. This is known as "risk compensation,."
which is covered in more details in the 1995 book, Risk
by Dr. Johan Adams, University College London, England.

We do not need to spend millions of tax dollars for more seat belt
law enforcement, for more forced seat belt use, for more traffic
accidents. Tax dollars spent for traffic safety should focus on
achieving more responsibly educated drivers, and more safely built
roads and vehicles in order to prevent accidents. Preventing traffic
accidents will not only save lives but will save the cost of property
damage and, most importantly, save our freedom.

There certainly is nothing wrong with voluntary seat belt use, as
it is with all other kinds of individual personal health care suggestions
and recommendations in life; however, there is a great deal wrong
with all state mandatory seat belt harness laws.

May
2, 2002

William
J. Holdorf [send him mail]
writes from Chicago.

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