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Thread: Cell phone/ Seat belt sting

  1. #16
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    It is not the role of government to protect us from ourselves, and yet --

    I support Florida's refusal to make helmets mandatory for motorcycle operators or passengers over the age of 12, but I never ride without one and every time I see someone riding without a helmet I think "There goes Natural Selection waiting to happen."

    Applying this mindset to seatbelts: A case can be argued that a driver not wearing a seatbelt may be more apt to lose control of his or her vehicle in a minor accident that doesn't stop the vehicle, or during a sudden violent avoidance maneuver (though bucket seats and center armrests make this highly unlikely), and therefore a driver's use of a seatbelt has a potential impact on others. Further, I can buy into an owner's responsibility to provide seatbelts for all occupants so that they can choose to wear them if they wish.

    But frankly I think laws making seatbelt use mandatory for adults make as much sense as trying to stop psychos from shooting up a school by making certain kinds of firearms illegal: it's an exercise in political expediency that has no positive impact on society.

    Convince me that a law justly proteccts others from me, rather than me from myself, and I'll support it. I don't see that with seatbelt or helmet laws, though I think the only sane personal choice for both is to use them.
    "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." Mark Twain

  2. #17
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    It seems like almost all of the laws that are now being passed fall in to the " it's an exercise in political expediency that has no positive impact on society" group. It is amazing, our elected officials don't have time to balance the budget, but they have time to pass laws that give us poorer quality gasoline and force auto companies to produce electric cars that most people can't afford or don't want.

    If I don't stop now, I will surely end up making this a political post by comments about mandatory recycling and/or gun control. We can't have that now, can we?
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  3. #18
    Registered User GKman's Avatar
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    Why do people take these risks? Easy. To click a seat belt or let the phone ring they have to admit they aren't invincible. They are mere mortals that any number of bad things could happen to. If they aren't invincible then what about cigarettes, texting, un-safe sex or their bacon diet or cholesterol? "No, lets just keep the door closed on all this stuff or life is too boring to even think about."

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    It comes to mind, how did our forebearers ever get to where they needed to be without great overseers telling them what to do, where to go, what eat etc.? We may have smoked plenty in the past, ridden our pants off through the middle of the night, took risks in hand, buried our dead without oncologists hovering, and never thought twice about cell phones and PSAs. Never had a seat belt until my brother installed a set in our '63 Chevy. Never used one until '68 in my Volvo. Natural selection used to be a way of life. Had to look out for yerself in the not too distant past. Just a thought or two.

  5. #20
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post
    Not wearing a seatbelt shows a general lack of responsibility and concern for one's self and others. If you have so little concern you should not be driving. If you feel inconvenienced by having to put on a seat belt (about 2 seconds of inconvenience) and possibly save your own and others' lives, you should not be driving. You are not allowed to fly on a commercial airliner without fastening your seatbelt, and flying is far safer statistically than driving. If you are not bright enough to figure out why, you shouldn't be driving.
    Using the same logic, if you have so little concern for oneself and others you should not:
    Ride a motorcycle, bicycle, skateboard, ATV, Ski, waterski, own a gun, cross the street, use rollerskates, hangglide, it goes on and on, and on.

    We have so many regulations in this country, we have no freedom left. I don't wear a seatbelt because I have been in 3 automobile accidents during my lifetime that would have killed me had I been wearing one. So it's my CHOICE not to wear one. Remember when we used to have choices ?

    Ken
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  6. #21
    All-round Motorcyclist MarkM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken F View Post
    Using the same logic, if you have so little concern for oneself and others you should not:
    Ride a motorcycle, bicycle, skateboard, ATV, Ski, waterski, own a gun, cross the street, use rollerskates, hangglide, it goes on and on, and on.

    We have so many regulations in this country, we have no freedom left. I don't wear a seatbelt because I have been in 3 automobile accidents during my lifetime that would have killed me had I been wearing one. So it's my CHOICE not to wear one. Remember when we used to have choices ?

    Ken
    +1. Thank you for that, Ken.
    Mark M, St. Louis, '13 R1200GS, '01 Super Sherpa
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  7. #22
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken F View Post
    Using the same logic, if you have so little concern for oneself and others you should not:
    Ride a motorcycle, bicycle, skateboard, ATV, Ski, waterski, own a gun, cross the street, use rollerskates, hangglide, it goes on and on, and on.

    We have so many regulations in this country, we have no freedom left. I don't wear a seatbelt because I have been in 3 automobile accidents during my lifetime that would have killed me had I been wearing one. So it's my CHOICE not to wear one. Remember when we used to have choices ?

    Ken
    Ken, could you describe in some detail those three auto accidents where a wearing a seat belt would have killed you? I'm sure you know that the general take (with lots of statistics) is that seat belts, especially with air bags, has lead to a much lower death total in auto accidents. You clearly have experienced exactly the opposite and I am sure I am not the only one who would like your take on this matter.

    BTW, I was not supporting the BC seat belt law. I just found it strange they found so many more drivers in violation of this law than the hand-held cell phone law.

    I also agree with another poster that "hands-free" cell phones are almost as distracting as the hand held ones. Just another badly written law (I'm sure intentionally) and only occasionally enforced.
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  8. #23
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    We have all (or most of us anyway) railed against the use of cell phones by drivers, those folks distractedness, etc.- so I won't be the one to disagree with a "sting" that targets cell phone users. On the contrary, I applaud such an effort.

    Seatbelt use? Right up there with the argument for helmet use. Smoking, drinking, recreational drug use, and other potentially unhealthy lifestyle choices all sorta fall under the same category- but I'll leave all the above to another thread or time.
    Everyone has an opinion and the right to make their own choices about these things. Their rights and freedoms MAY come into question or under scrutiny IF their CHOICE leads to the death of another. Yet I agree most of all that we NEED to have the choice... Often, these laws are written and enforced by those who either have no idea what it's like down here in the "real world", or those who abuse the laws themselves because they ARE The Law.

    Mojo Nixon once sang:
    "Psychedelic mushrooms, chain saws, and guns... Gotta make your own reg-u-la-SHUNs"
    There's an old bumper sticker that says it more succinctly-
    "Keep YOUR laws off MY body".
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  9. #24
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    In the minority?

    I guess I may be. While I would prefer everyone choose to wear a seat belt or helmet, it doesn't happen. As said above, not a big deal if the rest of us did not have to pick up the tab of unnecessary severe trauma care or long term care due to those decisions. But, here we are, sharing the cost so that such costs do not totally wipe any one individual out financially. Hence, the requirement for a safety belt or helmet if you Choose to operate the associated vehicle, which as also stated is not a right but a privilege. Another way to deal with the cost issue that I might be okay with would be to allow insurance companies to have a different statistically validated rate for those who choose not to wear a helmet or a seat belt. And with that, if a person with a safety device use policy is in an accident and found NOT using the device (helmet or belt) called for in their insurance policy/contract, then the policy can be voided. The problem with that would be to drastically increase the suddenly uninsured, so probably not acceptable either. I guess I look at these two particular requirements for legalling operating a vehicle to be an effort to protect us from other people and their stupidity, not as protecting me from my own stupidity. Protecting me from my neighbor's stupidity, whether I want it or not, helps keep all of our insurance rates lower than they otherwise would be, or so the reasoning goes.
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  10. #25
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    health care expenses

    If the Canadian seat belt law was enacted in order to reduce health care expenses
    then I worry for the future. I suppose the next step will be to deny treatment to anyone who is OVERWEIGHT
    as they are the greatest drain on the entire system. Starting with a myriad of intestinal disorders and moving on to damaged and worn out joints and muscles, not to mention the HUGE cardiac issues.
    Life is not fair.....then you die.

  11. #26
    Registered User natrab's Avatar
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    Heap it on as one more damned-if-you-do situation that is dragging us down. I am all for freedom of choice, but if individuals in our society continue to make terrible choices we are just going to continue sinking. I'm kind of torn on the subject, since living in California I feel the constant need to protect my gun rights while acknowledging that the proliferation of guns in our country DOES make it easier for psychos to get their hands on one. What is the solution? Concise and appropriate legislation and regulation. Do I think that is possible in our political system? No.

    As for seatbelts and helmets, I do believe you should have a choice...and you do. I think an occasional fine for possibly taking up an ICU bed for two weeks on life support before your family finally pulls the plug and the expense gets passed onto the next patient due to lack of insurance isn't so bad. Maybe we can come up with some convoluted scheme where you have to show proof of a certain level of medical insurance or otherwise a DNR/DNI in order to get permission to go without your helmet or seatbelt.

    Like most debated issues, I feel the best path is the middle of the road. California is interesting with mandated helmets and seatbelts while having legalized lane splitting for us motorcycles. I always wear my seatbelt, helmet, etc., but I also always lane split. I know that it is inherently more dangerous, but I just can't help myself. I assume others have the same feeling towards wearing their seatbelt or popping on a helmet. To each their own. I think the best investment is in teaching good morals, common sense and critical thinking.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Downs View Post
    I think it boils down to those folks think they should have the freedom to choose wether they wear a seatbelt or not.

    I'd much rather see a stricter punishment for drinking and cell phone use than for seat belts. If you don't wear your seatbelt it does not affect me. Honestly I'd rather see people who don't want to wear them not wear them. No skin off my nose and it might help cleanse the gene pool. But drunk driving and cell use can directly affect me when you slam into me cause you didn't see me due to your cell phone usage or you passed out at the wheel while driving drunk.

    Mull this over: My wife who is known for her many great attributes is a reluctant seatbelt wearer.We have tried pads,clips,etc. to make them more comfortable yet she only wears them to avoid the bell. I've tried it all to get her to be an automatic wearer. Were it not for the really obnoxious bell alarm in our latest SAV she would avoid them often. One of my cousins(not particularly known for his mental gifts) worked on an ambulance for a few yrs after returning from the war as a medic & he was one of the non believers in seat belts-claimed it was safer to be thrown from the car rather than trapped inside where the damage occurred.
    I'm not ticked off at your statement r.e., "cleansing the gene pool" but it is a clearly obnoxious way to make your point about using a safety device that does in fact affect us all via personal loss and/or insurance rates. Find a better way to make your point. I'm exactly the same on cell use,seat belts & helmets-I think it ought to be the law. Your right about passive devices vs. active safety devices/practices not being the same thing- until your dead!
    Last edited by kantuckid; 03-22-2013 at 01:01 PM.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8ninety8 View Post
    It comes to mind, how did our forebearers ever get to where they needed to be without great overseers telling them what to do, where to go, what eat etc.? We may have smoked plenty in the past, ridden our pants off through the middle of the night, took risks in hand, buried our dead without oncologists hovering, and never thought twice about cell phones and PSAs. Never had a seat belt until my brother installed a set in our '63 Chevy. Never used one until '68 in my Volvo. Natural selection used to be a way of life. Had to look out for yerself in the not too distant past. Just a thought or two.
    Running ones "beltless car" into a tree while drunk is "natural selection"? Our forebears had short life expectancies based on lots of things & machines & phones not even in the mix of dangers then.
    I'm one of those lucky ones too, like several that have posted here while alluding to behaviors(and other dangerous experiences) of the past that we & our society tolerated,etc., & I can go the religious route now to explain my still being around(not allowed here) or I can say it's my luck of the draw(allowed here) and I'm thankful either way. I've done my share of looking out for myself & will continue. Arrest them all!
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by natrab View Post

    California is interesting with mandated helmets and seatbelts while having legalized lane splitting for us motorcycles. I always wear my seatbelt, helmet, etc., but I also always lane split. I know that it is inherently more dangerous, but I just can't help myself. .
    Hijack:
    Um, what evidence do you have lane splitting is more dangerous? When I lived in LA I took a safety class run by motor cops, and they taught us to lane split. They said it was safer, and they had some sort of stats to support that. In a nutshell, when you lane split, your main task is negotiating a (somewhat) obstacle course at a relative speed of 10-15mph to the "obstacles", with almost zero chance of being rear ended. On the other hand, riding in accordion-like stop-and-go traffic leaves you bored out of your mind staying off the car in front of you. At the same time you have ZERO chance to know at which time the cage behind you isn't gonna stop because they are messing with their music, eating, dropping a roach, grabbing a lighter, putting on makeup, having intimacies, changing clothes, reading a book, texting, etc etc , all the things I have seen people do (while lane splitting!) to make efficient use of their (usually lengthy) commute time. You have no active defense against the main risk. And if your response to all that is to futiley watch your mirror more and more, then you will rear end someone!
    Please do lane split; don't become the ham in a metal and plastic automobile sandwich. Count your blessings; here in NV it is illegal, with chances of a law change just about nil. And remember, lane splitting is not expressly legal in CA; it is just not expressly prohibited. The legality of it stems from the apparently passing basic idea that free people do what they wish unless it is specifically prohibited; the "new" thinking being fostered is moving towards a slave mentality, where we must seek explicit permission before doing something.
    Hijack off:
    In practice the cell phone is a much greater risk to others than the lack of a seat belt. The statistics are there that the "cell" drivers are just as impaired as the drunks. There would be a very good case to require the CA firearm transport laws be applied to cell phones: locked and disabled in the trunk.
    As to the seat belts, sometimes I wish that were the only safety device in the cages; no air bags. The act of using it perhaps puts one in a more "safety oriented" frame of mind. And the prolifertion of passive safety air bags quite frankly seems to make the current crop of cage left front seat occupants increasingly lazy and sloppy, relying more and more on devices and regulations, to the exclusion of their own (too puny?) skills . Safety is becoming "someone else's" job.

  15. #30
    All-round Motorcyclist MarkM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by natrab View Post
    ...I always wear my seatbelt, helmet, etc., but I also always lane split. I know that it is inherently more dangerous, but I just can't help myself...
    The articles/studies I've seen have found that lane splitting is safer, not more dangerous. So enjoy it with a clear conscience. I wish we could here in Missouri.
    Mark M, St. Louis, '13 R1200GS, '01 Super Sherpa
    There are two roads in life; the twisty one is vastly more fun.

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