From the September 2002 Idaho Observer:
When state says, Click it or Ticket, some are saying, Click it? Stick it!
Activists organize to fight Orwellian seatbelt law in Washington state
We live in a time where people are forced by the state to be vaccinated, are prescribed psychotropic drugs by the state, drink fluoridated water as mandated by the state and products such as bovine growth hormone and aspartame are approved by the state for general consumption. Science and field experience have proven that the items listed above are extremely unsafe and are linked to numerous chronic and fatal diseases. A congressional study completed in early 2001 showed that pharmaceutical drug and doctor-induced injuries kill at least 150,000 people per year but nothing has been done to reduce the risk of death and injury through state-sanctioned policies. Is it logical to believe that mandatory seatbelt laws are passed by legislatures to reduce the risk of injury and death in automobile accidents or can we infer the state's intentions are more sinister?
By The Idaho Observer
Many motorists wear seatbelts because it is their choice and it makes them feel safer. Many choose not to wear seatbelts for a variety of reasons -- unless they face an $86 ticket for unlawfully not buckling up. As of June 13 in Washington state, additional police are working the streets to catch the newest form of criminal -- the one not buckled up.
The Coalition to Abolish Washington's Mandatory Seatbelt Law has formed to repeal what many feel to be the most unscientific and invasive abuse of police power ever devised by Big Brother.
We are a fledgling group, dedicated to reversing the assault on personal choice and personal liberty that is the new Primary-Enforcement Mandatory Seatbelt Law in Washington State, also known as 'Click-it or Ticket', the group's website states.
The site at www.clickitstickit.com is under construction but already has a lot of information that supports claims that seatbelt use causes more injuries than it prevents. According to a 2001 release by Irish cycling advocacy group Galway Cycling Campaign, A recent study of 19,000 cyclist and 72,000 pedestrian casualties seen at the time suggests that seatbelt wearing drivers were 11-13 percent more likely to injure pedestrians and 7-8 percent more likely to injure cyclists.
Galway also stated that the Irish figures were consistent throughout other mandatory seatbelt enforcing countries in Europe and Australia.
The fraud begins
Washington state passed its original seatbelt law in 1986. Upon passage, the legislature stated, The traffic safety commission shall undertake a study of the effectiveness of section 1 of this act and shall report its finding to the legislative transportation committee by January 1, 1989.
A thorough search of the legislative literature has not produced the legislatively demanded study. In fact, there are no studies that have been submitted for peer review that scientifically support mandatory seatbelt use.
The new law narrowly passed through the House 54-44 last Valentine's Day and barely got through the Senate March 7 by a margin of 26-22. Curiously, the new law still states that, ....enforcement of this section by law enforcement officers may be accomplished only as a secondary action when a driver of a motor vehicle has been detained for a suspected violation of Title 46 RCW or an equivalent local ordinance or some other offense (with the exception of children who must be strapped into child safety seats).
Though seatbelts themselves can cause injury and death, the state assumes no liability though its mandates may have been a causative factor.
Even though police are not authorized to pull motorists over for not wearing a seatbelt, the Click It or Ticket campaign has prompted over 90 percent of Washington drivers to wear them. It appears that, because there are so many laws against everything, an unbelted person becomes the target of a routine traffic stop but the detaining officer will find another reason for the stop because it is still not lawful for them to detain people for driving without a seatbelt.
In a time when we are (supposedly) at war with terrorists in our midst, $500,000 of Federal funds has been dedicated to overtime pay for local police officers to enforce the new seatbelt law. Another $500,000 has been spent on the State's ad campaign, the Coalition commented.
Though the law went into effect in Washington last June 13, the Click It or Ticket campaign began in mid May. TV and radio ads in Spokane were telling people that police would be stopping and citing them for not being buckled even though the new law does not authorize such stops and was not yet in effect. After stating that police would not be pulling people over for seatbelts before June 13, a Spokane Police Department spokesman told The IO, I guess they are just trying to get people used to the idea.
It's a lie
It appears that the entire mandatory seatbelt issue is a lie.
1. The Click It or Ticket campaign to compel seatbelt use was initiated almost a month before it could be enforced.
2. We have been conditioned to believe that seatbelts save lives but not one credible study supports those claims. To the contrary, several studies prove that increased seatbelt use may increase the rates of injuries to drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
3. Police pull people over for noncompliance with the seatbelt law and then manufacture another reason for the stop.
4. Police patrols have increased with the help of federal funding to supposedly enforce the new seatbelt law.
If you drive in Spokane today, you will notice that a police patrol car is within sight everywhere you go.
The seatbelt law was passed so the legislature could help local police departments receive federal funds. The effect has been to increase police presence and, therefore, police surveillance of the local population.
It has also become apparent that, as we as a people become more impoverished as taxpaying participants in a failing economy, government is having to devise new revenue generating mechanisms to continue funding itself. The seatbelt law will boost revenues from traffic infractions.
The seatbelt law will also be an excellent mechanism to single out nonconformists for further investigation. Those who would rather risk an $86 ticket than wear a seatbelt may also be unyielding to other more serious state mandates.
What law will be passed next, that turns YOUR innocent choice into something that's subject to police action and a hefty fine? Since when are our personal freedoms up for sale, with the dubious reasoning that there is a monetary cost to society? The only winners in that game are the State, the Police, and the Insurance Companies, comments the Coalition.
Fight this one
Quasi-mandatory seatbelt laws such as the one in Washington state will eventually achieve passage in other states. Previous experience with vaccines, drugs, fluoride and doctors tell us that increased injuries and accidents from widespread seatbelt use will not change public policy on this issue. The only thing that will stop the mandatory seatbelt use disease from spreading to the several states is activism.
The fact that the bill barely passed both houses is an indication that it could be overturned this coming session.
The state believes we are so incompetent that we should not be allowed to decide for ourselves whether or not to buckle our seatbelts.
This is a winnable fight and all those who believe they should be able to decide whether or not they want to wear a seatbelt should become a contributing and participating member of the Coalition. If government can issue $86 citations for not wearing a seatbelt, and we already have to wear bicycle helmets, one must wonder when it will become an infraction to walk down the street without state-mandated safety gear of some sort.
Much of the information posted has been generated by William Holdorf, director of Chicago's Seatbelt Law Forum. Holdorf appeared in The IO December, 2000.
Holdorf has a tremendous arsenal of excellent data with which to fight mandatory seatbelt use. His material can be accessed at the Coalition website at www.clickitstickit.com.
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