Missouri Senate Bill 820
I was invited by Sen. Jill Schupp to attend a hearing at the Capitol next week to testify in support of one of her bills (SB 820) but I cannot make the trip due to conflicting business schedules, so I am offering my testimony in written form.
As a long-time safety advocate, and hard-nosed seat belt user, I believe it is time we require seat belt use, and make primary enforcement the law in our state.
You don’t have to believe me, read the facts, the numbers don’t lie: seat belts save lives.
Why People Shouldn’t Oppose SB820
Many people oppose primary enforcement. Secondary enforcement means you cannot be pulled over for failure to use your seat belt. You would have to be pulled over for speeding or something like that, or have a crash, and then you could get a ticket. Primary enforcement makes failing to use a seat belt a valid reason in itself to be pulled over and ticketed.
My testimony refers to data collected by MoDOT which also tells the story of people dying by not using their seat belts, and this video sums it all up very well:
Many other people object to primary enforcement on 2 main points:
- Harassment could increase as an officer could pull you over if they only suspect you don’t have your belt on; could this happen ? yes, but it is unlikely to be a large problem;
- Individual freedom of choice; and I’m all in favor of freedom of choice, but when that choice has devastating consequences for other people, not just you, that’s different; serious, paralyzing injuries, or death, from failing to wear your seat belt has a wide ripple effect on your spouse, your family, your friends, your employer and co-workers, and society in general which has to pick up the tab for all the economic losses.
Please call your Senator, and encourage them to vote in favor of SB820
Buckle up, save a life.