The One Minute Case Against Mandatory Seatbelt Laws

Driver safety is not a special prerogative of the state

Seat belt laws are enforced “for our own good.” But traffic accidents are not leading causes of injury and death, nor is buckling seatbelts the most beneficial thing you can do for your health. Daily exercise, nutritious meals, intellectual enrichment, and regular sexual activity have all been shown to have a positive impact on mind and body. The issue is not whether seatbelts are beneficial, but whether the state has the right to coerce us for our own good.

You own yourself

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially prohibited the ownership of another human being. To own something is to exclusively control and use it for one’s own purposes. We recognize that control is ownership, even when property nominally belongs to another party. Thus, under the regime of the National Socialist German Workers Party, industry belonged neither to the original owners, nor to the workers, but to the Nazi party, and in the Soviet Union it belonged to the Communist Party, not “the people.” Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s chief propagandist, explained it thus: “To be a socialist, is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.” If the state controls every aspect of the individual’s life for the “common good,” then individuals become property of the state.

Safety regulations lead to reckless behavior

Common sense indicates that individuals are more likely to be concerned with their safety than politicians. Even when they aren’t, safety laws may have a counterproductive effect. According to studies cited by the Independence Institute,

When subjects who normally did not wear seat belts were asked to do so, they were observed to drive faster, followed more closely, and braked later. In other words, people who are naturally cautious voluntarily choose to wear seat belts, and voluntarily drive safely. When reckless people are forced to wear seat belts, they “compensate” for the increased safety by driving more recklessly. Furthermore, no jurisdiction that has passed a seat belt law has shown evidence of a reduction in road accident death.

Externalized healthcare costs are only a problem under socialism

Those who support outlawing risky behavior argue about the “social costs” of medical treatment for accidents. But this is only a problem for a socialist state. In a free society, a person is injured due to their own recklessness is responsible for their own treatment. However, in a socialist economy, everyone is responsible for paying for everyone else’s health. It’s not a coincidence that advocates of seatbelt laws are supporters of socialized healthcare as well.

“Click it or Ticket” is a step towards totalitarianism

There is no logical end to laws that replace individual judgment with politically-mandated notions of what risks we are and are not allowed to take. If it desirable to the state to control individuals while driving, eating, working, and seeing the doctor, it follows that the state should regulate every other aspect of their lives as well. Without a principled and uncompromising defense of the individual’s right to own his life, we are reduced to being property of the omnipotent State, being permitted to live only at the mercy of a bureaucrat’s decision that we contribute to the “common good.”

Further reading:

18 Comments

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18 Responses to The One Minute Case Against Mandatory Seatbelt Laws

  1. Pingback: Truth, Justice, and the American Way » The fascist philosophy behind "Click it or Ticket"

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  4. Alexis B.

    I’m doing a research paper on why we shouldn’t have manditory seatbelt laws. This is one of my sources for said paper. All of this is a fairly good argument and supports my opinions very well.

  5. John St.G

    This is either an argument for laziness, or an argument simply to argue. I personally hate having to wear a seatbelt simply because the law says I should, but I have seen first hand what not wearing a seatbelt can lead to. My youngest uncle was killed 23 years ago when he was in an accident while not wearing a seatbelt. My family is is still greatly affected by this loss even to this day. Buckle up people, if not for your self, do it for others.

    • FreemanDjango

      Wow, JSG,
      You REALLY don’t get the point of the article, do you? The issue is whether you should FORCE someone to wear the belt – NOT whether it’s a statistically good idea. Buckle up or not – it’s your choice, John. Just like all the crap people eat, drink and SMOKE every day. It is apparently hard for you to separate your emotions from your arguments, which is understandable. But, when you accuse someone else of being lazy or argumentative because you can’t think logically, you cross the line… Wake up and smell the coffee!

      • Tom

        YES Freeman! Thank you! When I was in High School I did a debate on abolishing mandatory seat belt laws and every other student acted in the same emotional way. If you want to wear your seat belt then by all means PLEASE CONTINUE TO DO SO, but you should NEVER be forced to do it and you certainly should not be fined for not doing so!

      • Regular Dude

        You are a jackass, Freeman. I’m with JSG.

        You see, there are people in this world who don’t over analyze issues and apply logic and common sense. For an issue like “should we be required to wear seat belts,” most people fall in the middle of the bell curve. In other words, these are regular people, the majority, the ones who use common sense and move on. Then you have the freaks in the lower or upper 5% of the bell curve such as you and the author of this article. These are the ones who lack interpersonal skills and can’t make simple decisions without drafting a dissertation. Everything is a debate with people like you. Someone asks you for a cup of coffee, you’ll want to discuss the origins of the coffee trade. In your mind, you’re and intellectual, a deep thinker. But in fact, you’re just odd. That’s all.

    • rosetta

      This is an argument for FREE WILL. There are people who medically cannot wear them, by making click it or ticket laws WE are constantly harassed questioned and treated like criminals for doing what we must to preserve our lives. OH and by the way, you have no right to dictate if others have to protect themselves, it’s called freewill and liberty, not slavery and government dictations.

    • Kerri Bassett

      John on the opposite side of the coin my cousin was not wearing his seatbelt he is now a quadriplegic. The doctors told him that had he been wearing it the chances improve that he would be dead. His buddy sitting next to him who was wearing his seatbelt died.

  6. Jayson

    Well, I am suffering from AVN, which is the lack of blood to my hip bones causing death. I know someone in the legal aspect of this and seatbelts during a crash can cause many issues with a person’s health. The hell I have been through with this has made me wish I hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt and honestly would have survived without any rastraint as I have before. This is something like the helmet law in some states, I know people that would be dead if they were wearing a helmet, the friction of the helmet would have snapped their neck on contact with the pavement. It seems that this is another way to increase revenue in order to place money in the pockets of people that already have enough to live.

  7. Steve

    I personally am opposed to mandated seatbelts simply on the decietful and anti freedom ways that it came about and is enforced. Put the raw #s out there and let people choose for themselves. Or at least acknowledge the possibility that the same bias information which you use to come up with your “Facts” is equally “credible” in coming up with the argument.

  8. Pat

    I got snagged while driving. Cop was not in the position to determine whether I was wearing a seat belt or not. I knew I was getting a summons and we were both quite vocal. I stepped out the car to cool off. Then, he ‘told me’ you can’t get out the car. This dude did not realize that you can not provoke old women, most of us are already edge.

    The Seat Belt Law is not a good thing! I wrote 2 senators asking whether the Fugitve Slave Act was enforceable in 2015. Obviously no response. David Veksler hit the nail on head. Kudos!

  9. Kirk

    Nazis are called “right radicals” in Germany and calling them Left wing is called apology and is illegal. I have pointed out this website to the public prosecutor in Germany.

    Calling the Nazi’s socialist because one doesn’t understand the reason for this is like calling North Korea “democratic” because that appears in the name. It is a sign of ignorance. It is the mark of elementary school thinking.

    • Hunter

      That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard of. Of course the left doesn’t want to own National Socialism. That doesn’t mean it’s accurate. So let’s look at the facts.

      Between 1934 and 1938 the Nazis made the German individual income tax far more progressive. The top bracket saw a 450% increase, while the bottom bracket saw a mere 5% increase in that same timeframe. Remind me, is it the right or the left that promotes a graduated income tax? Oh that’s right, it’s actually one of the 10 core principles of communism.

      The Nazis also doubled the corporate tax rate from 20% to 40%.. Which side is in favor of higher corporate tax rates I wonder? The right or the left? Chalk that up to the left again.

      The Nazis also greatly expanded the German national health care system, giving us such gems as the Genetic Health Court. Which side seeks to transfer health care toward government control? That’s correct, the left.

      The Nazis also engaged in various redistributive economic programs, such as Strength Through Joy, which sent low and middle income Germans on government funded vacations. They also vastly expanded public housing, put limits on dividend profits and put gigantic restrictions on stock trading. Which side is in favor of wealth redistribution? Damn, the left yet again.

      The Nazis also seized control of the economy through the Supreme Office of Production management. The so called business owners became mere shop owners. They were called Betriebsführer, and they only controlled the most mundane of details. Everything else was decided by the Nazis. Which side seeks to control the economy with government? Lefties once again.

      Obviously I could keep rattling off policies that show the leftist nature of the Nazis all day long, but let’s hammer this home with a few quotes, shall we?

      “Have not fascism in Italy and National Socialism in Germany claimed that they have attained similar results as the USSR? Have not both been achieved at the price of privation and personal liberty sacrificed for the good of the state?” – Stalin

      “You say you are the only pillar of Socialism. You were the pillar of that mysterious Socialism of which, in reality, the German Volk never had a glimpse. The fruits testify against you! If the Germany you created in fourteen years is any reflection of your socialist aims, then all I can say is give us four years’ time, Gentlemen, in order to show you the reflection of our socialist aims.” – Hitler

      “Without race, we would really do nothing more than compete with communism on its own ground” – Hitler

      If you actually understood the history of the Nazi party, you’d know that in the 20’s they were basically split on geographic lines. The northern Nazis were true, die hard socialists that wanted to outlaw private ownership over the means of production. This included Goebbels. The southern Nazis were more race/nationalism oriented, and this included Hitler. They eventually incorporated BOTH wings into their party, and made their OWN UNIQUE BRAND OF SOCIALISM. The idea that they included ‘socialism’ into the name to trick people is moronic.

      And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the evidence that proves the Nazis were left wing. The left’s argument basically consists of, “but the Nazis hated communists and they were racists.”. Yes, the Nazis hated communists, because they thought it was a Jewish led movement, and there is absolutely nothing inherently ‘right wing’ about racism. People can absolutely simultaneously be racist and socialist. They very suggestion is idiotic. Sure, National Socialism was different than communism, but it was still very much a collectivist, authoritarian, left wing model. Hence the name.

      The idea that you ‘reported this to a prosecutor in Germany’ only illustrates how ungodly bigoted leftists are just like…..THE NAZIS!!!! BTW, I’m an American, so I can call Nazis left wing all day and half the night if I so desire. Fortunately, our first amendment protects me from bigots who try to use force to silence opinion they don’t care for.

      Just to prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt, here is the original National Socialist Party Platform. If you understand ANYTHING about ideology, it will easily become apparent which side of the aisle the Nazis belong on:

      * We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens.
      * We demand the abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
      * We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
      * We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
      * We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
      * We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
      * We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
      * We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest.
      * The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious [citizen] to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
      * The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.[2]

      And despite me being a proud, free market capitalist, I’m not even going to charge you for your lesson. You can consider it knowledge redistribution.

  10. dave

    the entire concept of a seatbelt is based on hypothetical… when your argument for something begins with “if” then it is improper… FACT simply wearing a seatbelt, will not save your life… for it to do ANYTHING wearing a seatbelt MUST be accompanied by having an accident, and then it MIGHT do something… On the other hand, smoking a cigarette will introduce your lungs to toxic smoke, it is a certainty. The state has no business in regulating either. But there is zero rational argument that a seatbelt does anything… FYI giving a narrative about you or a friend who it saved doesnt matter because you are making a story about a car accident, which is not the purpose of driving a car. Just as the purpose of flying in a plane is not to crash, should we all board planes with a parachute and a life vest?

  11. Josh

    I think the seat belt law should apply to minors only. Because you are responsible for another person’s life but as an adult it should be our choice. It’s a good idea but should not be mandatory. You can throw a parachute out of an airplane and then jump out after it. Stupid but no law against it but not wearing a seat belt for your own safety is where they draw the line? Really? It’s just a money scheme

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