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Debate Info

200
253
Yes - they save lives No - it's a personal choice
Debate Score:453
Arguments:193
Total Votes:593
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Argument Ratio

side graph
 
 Yes - they save lives (75)
 
 No - it's a personal choice (117)

Debate Creator

iniquity(20) pic



Should the US have seatbelt laws?

So we need seatbelts, but not helmets?

Yes - they save lives

Side Score: 200
VS.

No - it's a personal choice

Side Score: 253
17 points

I think that seat belts should be mandated by law, because we all (society) ends up bearing the brunt of the cost for people who fail to wear their seatbelts.

In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

It has been proven that seat belt laws increase the use of seat belts. Increasing the national seat belt use rate to 90 percent from the current 68 percent would prevent and estimated 5,536 fatalities, 132,670 injuries and save the nation $8.8 billion annually.

We all pay for those who do not wear seat belts. The higher health care and insurance costs that result from unbelted drivers and passengers involved in crashes get passed along to everyone.

For example, the costs of hospital care for an unbelted driver are 50 percent higher than those for a driver who was wearing a safety belt. Society bears 85 percent of those costs, not the individuals involved.

Thus, seat belt use should be mandatory.

Side: Yes - they save lives
6 points

Seat belts serve a few purposes: to keep us fastened to our seats in a relatively comfortable position, to protect us during vehicle accidents, and to protect others during the same accidents. One of the primary functions of a government - as a part of the social contract - is to protect people from themselves. And this is why we have policies like helmet and seat belt laws (in America).

Side: Yes - they save lives
itsnotright(24) Disputed
3 points

I agree that wearing a seatbelt might in fact save you from serious injury and ultimately, death. My problem is that it IS a violation of human rights. It is MY descision whether or not to wear one. No body elses. The fact that there was legislation passed that fines you when you don't comply is astounding. It simply is not right. Since this guy's post stated that the government is supposed to protect people from themselves, I wonder how he, or anyone else would feel if Big Brother were to pass laws that you must allow yourself enough time to get ready for work in the mornings so as not to be in a rush to get to work. Restrict your speed limit to such a rate that no vehicle can cause damage. If you are on any type of medication, you cannot get behind the wheel. You wear corrective lenses, guess what, you can't drive. It is entirely too dangerous to drive at night. If there is a storm coming in, you cannot be on the road, for whatever reason. You must have both hands on the steering wheel at all times. Can't be messing with the radio, talking on the phone, texting, looking in the mirror. But you know what, all of the things I just mentioned are dangerous to everyone that is on the road the same time you are. Seems to me those would take higher order over when considering personal safety, but they don't. You know why? It puts WAY too much restriction on human rights. The ultimate protection from ourselves is to have to be armed with a deadly weapon, or else, and if you didn't comply, you were fined? (We all know this will NEVER happen). The primary function of government is to regulate interstate commerce. Make policy for the advancement of our society. NOT to infringe on our right to personal choice, so long as it is not in contradiction to the moral fabric that was instilled in mankind.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
4 points

A seatbelt would have saved one of my cousins a couple years ago...

I agree completely.

Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

I completely agree. Why should we pay for other people deciding to play roulette with their own lives by not wearing a seat belt. It's pretty stupid that by law children under a certain age must wear a seat belt and then not enforce that for an adult person.

Side: Yes - they save lives

Agreed. An individual's rights end where other's begin. You cannot take a "personal liberty" or make a "personal choice" if you are putting others at danger. While seatbelts don't save lives 100% of the time [a friend of my fell unconscious while driving and was thrown out the door, and his car then crashed through a drainage pipe and was instantly crushed, he would've been killed no doubt about it], it is a very rare occasion that they are counter-productive.

The crux of the argument is that by wearing a seatbelt, you are less likely to lose control of the vehicle, putting others at risk, and since US laws aren't meant to restrict the individual but to help the group, they are a necessity at either the state or federal level.

By adding a seatbelt law, you give people a heavy incentive to wear a seatbelt and protect themselves, but more importantly, others.

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

thank you-we are not talking just about grown up....the law deters us from not strapping our kids in too.

Side: Yes - they save lives
VoiceReason(2) Disputed
1 point

Why should we pay for other people deciding to play roulette with their own lives by not wearing a seat belt.

Driving a car on the roadway is like playing roulette.

Why should we allow people to drive cars on roadways ?

Side: No - it's a personal choice
tradingsouls(2) Disputed
2 points

I don't believe it should be mandated by law. Your argument merely points out a flaw in our health care system. It does not address the fact that that the law is unconstitutional and is simply a cog in the goverment's money making machine. Despite statistics proving that seatbelts save the lives of those who use them, it still should be their choice, and their choice alone. The seatbelt law IS another prime example of the goverment telling it's civilian population how to live their life. One out of every eight deaths in America is caused by an illness directly related to overweight and obesity. By your standards it would be perfectly fine for the goverment to issue an ultimatum to stop consuming Häagen-Dazs or be fined for it! I risk no one's life but my own by CHOOSING not to wear my seatbelt.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
tx39eagle Disputed
2 points

People say that seatbelts saves lives. I beg to differ. I know of several accidents that resulted in the deaths of people who were wearing their seatbelts. One accident in 1985 involved my late aunt. She was driving one way on a road and another driver that was speeding was coming the other way. He crossed the line and hit her head on. She died a week later from her injuries. In 2006, in Caldwell, Tx, I lost a great step nephew because he was thrown halfway out of his father's SUV. His head was slammed into a tree. His little brother and father were not wearing seatbelts and survived. The recall of the 1973 to 1987 General Motors Corporation pickups was caused by a boy who was killed in his pickup and was unable to get his seatbelt off before he burned to death. In 1984, I had a brother that was told, by a Tx State Trooper, that if he would have been wearing his seatbelt when he flipped his car, that he could have been injured worse or killed. August, 2001, I had a soldier lose his arm at the shoulder due to a seatbelt. He was 23 at the time. Sometimes it may be better to die then to live with a missing body part or not able to function properly. These surveys and panels that the government have come up with about forcing people to wear seatbelts takes away our GOD GIVEN RIGHT to choose. Until these surveys show the full statistics of all use or none use of seatbelts are published, then I don't think it is fair to force people to wear a seatbelt.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

I beg to differ as well, I am living proof that a strong case can be made for not being restrained in a belt, Had I been wearing one when I had my accident I would have died, no drama, just a fact and one that came straight from the police at the scene and the ambulance crew who worked on me. I would have died and in my opnion my life, my choices are not only my PRIVILEGE but certainlly my RESPONSIBILITY and by extension my RIGHT to manages the choices that affect them should also belong TO ME.

Side: MY RIGHT MY CHOICE MY DUTY
1 point

Personal liberties is just that, you have a choice.. Given all the information and education, you make the choice. NO one should ever tell you how to live your life from the government. NO Gov should ever tell you how to live your life..

Side: No - it's a personal choice
VoiceReason(2) Disputed
1 point

We all (society) ends up bearing the brunt of the cost for people who harm or kill other people.

It has been proven that putting people in maximum security solitary confinement reduces the chance of that person harming or killing another person.

Thus, putting everyone in solitary confinement under maximum security should be mandatory.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
0 points

I agree with what you're saying here, and a lot of what is being said here in favor of this. Seat belt laws do save lives because there is always that group of people who aren't intelligent enough to think wearing a seat belt could save their life and they won't do it. Be it personal reasons, the fact that wearing a seat belt is cool or whatever, some people need to be instructed in what they can and can't do. Not everyone in the world is a leader.

Side: Yes - they save lives
madgenius76(5) Disputed
0 points

Higher health care and insurance costs are due to the abundance of malpractice suits and insurance fraud cases brought forth by this "get rich quick," "sue happy" society. To say that society pays 85 percent of the medical care for unbelted drivers is ridiculous, because if that was really the case our insurance rates would be rising faster than gas prices. And considering there are approximately 304,106,367 people in the United States, the point of 5,536 estimated lives saved per year hardly seems like a reason to mandate a whole nation.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
6 points

While wearing a seat belt is your choice it isn't your choice when someone is drunk driving and runs into you. Emergency workers don't have a choice then to treat you, so save everyone the heartache and just buckle up.

Side: Yes - they save lives
5 points

does anyone realize how many lives have been, are, and will be saved by wearing a seatbelt. with the decisions that people make....drinking and driving.... it would be stupid not to wear them. our country is trying to keep us all safe by giving us these laws. its a personal choice to obey the law or not, so if its a law you can still choose whether you want to wear them or not.

Side: Yes - they save lives
4 points

The choice not to wear a seat belt does not only affect the life of the individual choosing not to wear one, but also the lives of others. Increased costs to society through subsidized health care and emotional burdens on the family members of those killed in car crashes outweighs the individual's right to choose whether or not to wear a seat belt. The consequences of an individual's choice are not confined only to that person, thus the requirement to wear a seat belt serves to protect other people from one person's error in judgment.

Side: Yes - they save lives
4 points

My sister was in a car accident a few months ago and died instantly... if she had been wearing a seatbelt she would still be alive and my nephew would still have a mother.

The seatbelt law is one law that should be enforced everywhere. How hard is it to put on a seatbelt? Just by doing that small thing you could save your life. No one ever plans on getting in a fatal accident but it happens. And when it does you're not only paying the price with your life, your relatives and friends also have to deal with the loss of someone they loved and cared about.

Side: Yes - they save lives
4 points

seatbelts ARE in cars to save lifes

Side: Yes - they save lives
4 points

What about the psychological damage an unfastened body can cause for others involved in the accident? Also, there is a good chance that the body itself can do further damage to other people or property after it is projected from the vehicle.

Side: Yes - they save lives

Yes, we need laws to protect everyone (or at least as many people as we can) from as many dangers as possible. We need to protect the human race at all cost. This can be facilitated getting people off the planet so that we don't have all of our eggs in one basket. And as we ship them up into space, we need to make sure that they are wearing their seat belts just in case they slam into a meteor heading towards Earth. That way they will survive and make it towards Mars to start anew. Since Mars is cold, they will have to start generating green house gasses to warm up the planet (but we're already pretty good at that). We need to spread humanity to the outer reaches of space and time. Since our television signals (especially today's news) would have preceded us, the universe will no doubt welcome us with open arms. It is our Manifest Destiny!

Side: Yes - they save lives
3 points

Seatbelts have reduced the number of vehicle-related deaths. The statistics speak for themselves.

Side: Yes - they save lives
3 points

It could keep the driver in his/her seat when the driving gets very rough (like right before and during an accident). That fact means that the driver has more control over the car (because he remains in his seat). That could protect others on the road , or in the car , or anywhere else, from getting hurt.

IF IT ONLY AFFECTED THE DRIVER, i would say it doesnt matter. But belts could help the driver stay driving. So theyre required

Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

hell yah brotha!!

Side: Yes - they save lives
3 points

If somebody doesn't have the common sense to wear a seat belt, they deserve a ticket.

Wear A Seat Belt
Side: Yes - they save lives
stargate1990 Disputed
1 point

You must not of seen the movie, Rogue almost dies there because she cant get out of the burning truck because of the seat belt!

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

Why would anyone be against wearing a seatbelt? Yes you can go on and on about the intellectual right to self determine if you are going to wear one, but in this instance, there is no reason at all for someone to NOT wear a seatbelt. It's a proven fact that they save lives and that they are not an inconvenience when driving. With that in mind, this law is not a violation of liberty, it simply makes sense in the same way that mandating car manufacturers to follow safety guidelines makes sense.

Side: Yes - they save lives
PassingBy(33) Disputed
5 points

It is a proven fact that smoking is harmful. But i am free to make a choice wether to smoke or not unless i am bothering others with my smoke.

It is a proven fact that drinking alcohol is harmful. But once again i am free to drink as much as i want unless i start acting criminally.

It is a proven fact that cliffhanging is dangerous. But noone starts a law against cliffhanging ye?

It is a proven fact that sportsmen get lots of injuries in tough tackles or doing hard tricks - are we going to deny that too??

Side: No - it's a personal choice
KelsoH(26) Disputed
3 points

You get utility (enjoyment) from smoking. You get utility from drinking. You get utility from dangerous sports. Do you get utility from not wearing a seatbelt?

No you don't. That's why it is fundamentally different from those freedoms. By making those other activities illegal, there will be people who stand to lose a lot of happiness by not being able to enjoy those activities. In comparison, no one is truly bothered by wearing a seatbelt. If you are, then you are quite a unique individual.

Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

Why would you criticize the government for enacting a law that will protect you? Its like slapping somebody in the face for reminding you to wear a bullet proof vest in a gun fight. The fine for being caught without a seatbelt on is only there to help you remember to wear your seatbelt.

Side: Yes - they save lives
sunderbug(4) Disputed
1 point

Side: No - it's a personal choice
sunderbug(4) Disputed
1 point

the cops can stop me and remind me that its safer to wear my seatbelt without a fine .... and im not stupid... i choose what to eat, get in my car, drive on a public road, cruise through rush hour, ride my horse, turn on the hot water in my shower, etc all dangerous in thier own right. and i will die when my time comes like everyone else. IT DOESNT NEED TO BE A LAW!

Side: No - it's a personal choice
sirius(367) Disputed
1 point

"the cops can stop me and remind me that its safer to wear my seatbelt without a fine"- as if that will have any significant impact on you. A financial burden inflicted on a person acts as a deterrent to breaking the law.

"i will die when my time comes like everyone else"- im sure you would rather die when its your "time" than wear a seatbelt to get decades more of living.

Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

Of course there should be seat belt laws. It is not just personal choice because by not wearing a seat belt, you endanger others as well as yourself because your body can project itself through the windshield etc. Plus, if you expect people to pay for damages etc, you have to do everything you can to protect yourself.

Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

"I have a right to endanger my own life!!!" That's got to be the stupidest argument I've heard in a long time. The "No" voters need to stop quoting Benjamin Franklin and the Constitution, because this is not a "freedom" issue. Give me a good reason NOT to wear your seat belt--without whining about your rights--and I will listen to your opinion. Your bull-headed "dang government can't tell me what to do" stubbornness is going to get you killed someday.

Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

I was in an accident a little over a month ago. I didn't have my seat belt on. I was only going about 40m.p.h. and i hit a ditch then a bank. My face hit my steering wheel with the equivalent amount of force off me falling three stories onto my face, but hitting the steering wheel wasn't enough to completely stop me, my head then hit the windshild hard enough to bust it, I had closed my eyes when I knew I was going to wreck and upon opening them I was sitting in the back seat. I ended up with a broken jaw, 21 stitches and numerous bruises and lumps. This accident wasn't one that could've killed me, but if i had had my 3 yearr little brother in the back seat with me that day, i would've crushed him to death. If a friend had been in the passenger seat I could've broken their neck on my way into the backseat. Those of you saying that it's your decision whether or not to buckle up, well it is, but those of you also saying it only affects you are wrong.

No Seatbelt, No Excuse.
Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

In Australia we have them, basically these laws are to save stupid people from themselves. If you are on this website trying to construct an intellectual debate, you probably already wear a seat belt. If you don't you seriously need to rethink your life as you will be in a wheelchair by the time you are 30.

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

The government has a moral responsibility to protect its people. End of debate.

Side: Yes - they save lives
sparsely(495) Disputed
1 point

To protect our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

At least in America, government is not meant to be an over-protective mother.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
lostaxe(3) Disputed
1 point

We all (including our government) have the responsibility to protect our freedoms. The government does not have the responsibility or the right to protect us from ourselves.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Hey Billy...don't we all have the moral responsibility to protect ourselves and others riding with us to have the opportunity to save their own lives by wearing a seatbelt? The government can suggest we do so, giving us the fatality and injury figures but them having a moral responsibility to do so, I do not agree with. I don't happen to like the government interfering with adult morality issues. So it's not the end of this debate.

I do think wearing a seat belt is a very good idea but when you take a look at the figures that represent the people who have died despite wearing a seatbelt, it staggers the imagination. So much depends on where you were hit, the speed you were traveling and the maneuvers you took to avoid an accident or change the hit. But we have the laws and they are good ones. I wear mine about 90% of the time now and am trying to get that figure higher.

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

You guys don't have seatbelt laws?!

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

it does ave lives but it should be up 2 u. so if you die its your fult.

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

Yes. If a person is gravely injured because they weren't wearing a seatbelt, it costs the state money on healing them, so they should be able to make people wear seatbelts.

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

If there are no seatbelt laws, then that would obviously leave the choice of wearing a seatbelt or not up to us. Some parents out there may not set a good example for their kids by not wearing a seatbelt. Keep in mind that children do not think of the best decision all the time or think of the consequences. You might say that "its their choice," but kids shouldn't have to face a choice that could bear such harsh consequences. They're not wise enough to make such a decision.

Side: HOORAY FOR SEATBELTS
1 point

I remember back when you were not required to wear seatbelts by law. (I hate to date myself, but alas...for the sake of argument, I must).

Back in those days, few people wore seatbelts, and the majority of people did not, myself included. I would occassionally slap it on if I took the time to think about it, but most trips about town would be taken belt-less.

It wasn't until it was made law that I had to wear a seatbelt that I began the habit of wearing it every time I was in a car.

The law is the reason it has become my habit, instead of just something I'd do when I was thinking about it.

There are plenty of laws restricting how we can drive. There are speed limit laws, restricting how fast you can drive. Child carseat laws, restricting where children can sit, and how. Cellphone laws, restricting how you can use your cell phone while driving. I don't see why we shouldn't have this additional safety measure as law too.

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

yes. they should have such laws.

People usually overlook the importance of seatbelts until they

actually experience the "tragedy"

They just think nothing of it because they are too lazy to wear it. Laws can prevent them from actually having to experience the importance of seatbelts. It can help people stay safer.

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

When did Death get a right in this debate, yes people have rights in this country but we should not allow intelligent idiocracy to over rule common sense. We are a blessed nation, why dont we continue to keep it that way and preserve the citizens who live here...

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

I'm amazed the US doesn't have mandatory seatbelt laws, but I've often noticed areas of common sense legislation which is implemented across the Western World with the exception of America due to "civil liberties".

When I grew up in the UK, we had very lax road safety laws. Our roads were relative carnage compared to today - drink driving was not only commonplace, but barely frowned upon, seatbelts weren't mandatory, indeed many cars didn't even have them fitted to the rear seats.

Over the years, the UK Government, along with most of Europe, has recognised their responsibility to reduce the number of casualties on our roads. It's taken many years to drink driving to become socially unacceptable, and I don't know anyone who would think of driving off without putting their seatbelt on. It's common sense, it saves lives, and it may save other people's lives if it stops you losing control of your vehicle after a minor incident.

The civil liberties arguement that you have the right to take risks with your own safety doesn't apply in my opinion, if you are taking that risk on the public highway with two tons of steel between you and everyone else. It's not as if wearing a seatbelt is going to be an earth-shattering change to the way you drive your car - it's common sense, it's for your own protection, and it's for the protection of those around you. What's the big deal?

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

Yes not only us but all over the world have seat belt laws.

it's for peoples safety

Supporting Evidence: iPhone Application Development (www.inheritx.com)
Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

Yes. If you hit someone, then fly out the window you have a chance of dying. Your dying will then be forever ruining the other person in the accident.

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

yes ther should always be seatbelt laws. i fyou were to get into an accident you could have some serious injuries without. What if you were in the car drinving around & then BOOM you crash, you don't have your seatbelt on & you fly through the window. whereas if you had your seatbelt on, just driving along & then BOOM you get caught by your seatbelt & don't suffer serious trama or death.I fyou are going to die do it naturaly not because you didn't put on your seatbelt. I konw that a lot of times you don't get stopped if you don't have your seatbelt on. But then again theres always that one time that you pass a cop 7 he see's that you didn't have it on & BOOM you have a fine to pay. BOOOOOM!!!!!!!

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

Even if it's choice you should still wear them. They save lives and also here in England you have to wear them it's no different in the US accidents can still happen over there

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

I feel that states should mandate their own seatbelt laws, but I do want it to stay out of the federal government since nothing ever good happens that way. I would prefer fines to be reasonable, of course.

As to the why of it, a seatbelt probably saved my life when I crashed my car a year back. Granted the airbag had something to do with it too, but the seatbelt helped slow my body down for the impact and kept me from flying out of the car. I walked away with a few bruises, and no one was severely injured as the other driver was also wearing a seatbelt.

So while I am all for personal freedom and choice, wearing a seatbelt should be mandated in some form since it's not just your life you are deciding for, but everyone involved as well.

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

I'm also from Australia where there are mandatory seatbelt laws as well as bicycle and motorcycle helmet laws.

You must be high as a kite to actually disagree with this and definately deserve your just desserts of your stupidity.

Side: Yes - they save lives

Of course because it safe our life and without it we will be in a dangerous situation

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

Let's say there is extreme turbulence while flying. It's nothing fatal, just a sharp jolt down and then back up. One person was not wearing their seat belt at that time, and they come out of their seat for a second and bash their head on the light panel above them. If they get injured, its their fault...its dumb if its a personal decision, unless you want to risk getting injured.

Side: Yes - they save lives

It isn't just about trying to protect the driver. If that was all there was too it, I might be opposed to legally mandating it. But there is an arguably more important point: Seat belts help keep you at the wheel. Strapped in securely, you should have a better chance of maintaining or regaining control of your vehicle, as well as still having access to all your mirrors. And, if you drive a jeep or convertible, it prevents you from becoming a missile, landing in front of another vehicle, causing them to swerve and cause another accident. That would be a rare and extreme scenario, but the point remains: You are less of a danger to others when at the wheel than not.

You have the right to risk your own life, but not so flagrantly risk the lives of everyone around you on the roads, sidewalks, etc.

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

Seatbelts save lives so yes, I think there should be seatbelt laws. I have never understood why people would want to refuse to wear something which is intended as a safety device. Is it really THAT uncomfortable? It's such a simple device; one that I use every time I sit in my own car. It takes literally a few seconds to buckle up.

Side: Yes - they save lives

Seat belt laws should be enforced throughout the United States because seat belts save lives.

Side: Yes - they save lives

Of course there should be a seatbelt law, as, if you could save lives would you? Answer that and get back to me..

Side: Yes - they save lives
Cuaroc(8139) Disputed
1 point

if you could save lives would you?

Nope world is overpopulated as is.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
-3 points
8 points

Laws and punishment should be reserved for when actual crimes have been committed. If there is no harm, injury, or loss to any person or property with intent, there has been no crime to charge anyone.

Now, if the licensing regulatory body kept a point system, and revoked licenses for infraction, perhaps on a cumulative basis, that would be well within their power & jurisdiction. Using the force of the law, however, is a heavy-handed way to do so, and seems primarily aimed at revenue generation and money-saving by the insurance companies.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
heelspider(109) Disputed
2 points

So, let me get this straight: you would oppose a small fine set by an elected legislature but you are cool with the exact same fine set by an appointed executive?

Side: Yes - they save lives
sparsely(495) Disputed
5 points

The problem comes when you make something criminal which is not a crime. It becomes justification for further inquiry.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Right to Liberty- you have the sole right to freely make decisions regarding your own safety when there is no possible harm to others in rights or person. And also, the U.S. Supreme Court in the early 1800's upheld the right to freely travel throughout the country without threat of detainment, harassment, or imprisonment as a part of the Right to Liberty, thus a police officer who stops you when you are not presenting a threat to another person is blatantly violating your rights. He can stop you for speeding, running a red light, etc. because those offenses are a threat to other drivers, but he has no right to stop you for not wearing a seatbelt which is only a threat to your own safety.

Right to Property- you own the car and the seatbelt, and have an absolute and indefeasible right to use or dispose your property in any way you see fit so long as there is no threat to other citizens in their rights or property. Absolute in this sense means total and complete. Indefeasible means it cannot be legally taken away by legislation at any level of government.

Right to Life- American Courts have long held that the Right to Life includes both the right to endanger and even to take your own life. You can't commit a crime against your own safety, that is oxymoronic and assumes that "big brother" knows better what is good for you than you as a free citizen do.

On all these counts the seatbelt laws rather blatantly violate the Constitution of the United States of America (as amended in the Bill of Rights).

Side: No - it's a personal choice
7 points

Why should you be fined for your own stupidity? And if it's to make people safer then why not ban BASE jumping or cave diving or other really dangerous sports? Or better yet why not ban smoking? If you don't have the common sense to buckle your seatbelt the only person that is likely to get hurt is yourself so what's the point of fining you for knowingly endangering your self? It's not the governments responsibility to protect us from ourselves, people should be smart enough to ensure their safety themselves. If anything repealing seatbelt laws would help weed the stupid people from the gene pool. (Don't get me wrong I support the gov't encouraging you to wear seatbelt I just don't think they have the right to punish me when I haven't done anything wrong to anybody.)

Side: No - it's a personal choice
6 points

I believe that when you reach a certain age (18 I presume), you should choose whether or not you want to wear a seatbelt. Everyone knows the consequences, and if you decide you don't want to wear one, that's a personal choice.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

I believe that if a person is 18 or older they should be able to make the choice as to wear a seat belt or not. The vehicle is personal property and the person in that vehicle of legal age should have the right to make their own choice. It does not harm anyone else only their self. It is like telling a person whether they can smoke in their car or not. Minors I agree should e required to wear one. And for the record I don't smoke just using that as an example.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
blammo(186) Disputed
0 points

Would you say the same about riding a roller coaster?

Abortion is a personal choice...driving a car is a PRIVLEDGE not a RIGHT. Is it really that big a deal NOT to wear a seatbelt?

Side: Yes - they save lives
iniquity(20) Disputed
4 points

Personally, I always choose to wear one. Just like I choose to not smoke. But I don't believe that it needs to be illegal. As far as I know, it's not illegal to jump off your roof, even if you risk injury. If someone feels that they don't need a seatbelt (despite all the evidence to the contrary), that should be their decision.

And I wouldn't really compare driving to riding a roller coaster. I don't think you'd go unscathed if you didn't buckle up on a coaster.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
Jesus(202) Disputed
2 points

so what if you killed a person in a car accident, which was your fault and they weren't wearing the seat belt that could've saved their lives?

boom you're in jail for 10 years

rethink my man, rethink

Side: No - it's a personal choice
ksimpsondc(2) Disputed
1 point

YES it is a BIG DEAL on two levels, first MY RIGHT TO CHOOSE is one I personally take very serious, where do you draw the line exactly at infringement on my rights? On the second level, I am living proof that a strong case can be made for not being restrained in a belt, Had I been wearing one when I had my accident I would have died, no drama, just a fact and one that came straight from the police at the scene and the ambulance crew who worked on me. I would have died and again my life, my choices are not only my PRIVILEGE but certainlly my RESPONSIBILITY and by extension my RIGHT to manages the choices that affect them is one I hold dear.

Side: MY RIGHT MY CHOICE MY DUTY
robm05(11) Disputed
-1 points

"Everyone knows the consequences, and if you decide you don't want to wear one, that's a personal choice."

Not true, not everyone fully thinks through the consequences of their own actions. If they did you wouldn't see people smoking, drinking excessively, or driving without seat belts. Peer pressure is another thing to take into consideration at that age. If you have the choice to wear it or not and people in your group of friends decide it's uncool for you to wear a seat belt and laugh at you when you do, then you will stop wearing it and grow into the habit of not wearing it.

I wear my seat belt whenever I drive just out of habit, I don't put on my seat belt saying, "The consequences of not wearing this seat belt means I could possibly die." I do it because I've been doing so for about 10 years now.

Side: Yes - they save lives

For adults it's a personal choice. For kids yes, for the same reasons laws are different for kids about other things. Not wearing a seat belt only harms yourself, and though your death could effect family and friends indirectly, it doesn't make it any less of a personal decision. Risk always exists.

I am in Canada where we have nationalized health care, which is probably the best argument for seat bell laws, as your otherwise prevented injuries will have to be paid by rationing of tax revenue. This, incidentally, is one illustration of how socialism can make justifications to sacrifice personal liberty/responsibility.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
5 points

The United States should not have seatbelt laws for the simple fact that they cannot be universally enforced. I see the commercials all the time "Click it or get a ticket" but at the same time I can count on one hand how many times I have seen Police Officers on patrol with seat belts on. They can ticket me, but who tickets them? A law that cannot be fairly enforced due to double standard should not exist.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
5 points

If a police officer is driving without a seat belt, take a picture or record the license plate and report the offense.

As a citizen of the US and member of the general public, you have your own rights as a check on the police force's power. You are not a policeman. However, that isn't to say you don't have any power.

Side: Yes - they save lives
dcovan(170) Disputed
6 points

Take a picture?Now that should get you fined if your driving and taking pictures.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
madgenius76(5) Disputed
2 points

Oh sure we should do exactly that! The police have always been VERY good about punishing their own! (Please take note of my sarcasm) Government officials and law enforcement personnel have almost always been governed by the "do as we say and not as we do policy." So, please do take a picture of an unbelted police officer to your local police department and watch them try to keep a straight face as they take down your statement.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
Caitychris(4) Disputed
1 point

There are laws stating specific exemptions for certain people to be able to be beltless, police are among this list. seriously how many of you people have researhed anything on this?!

Side: No - it's a personal choice
heelspider(109) Disputed
0 points

If you are oppose laws that cops get away with then I guess you oppose laws in general.

Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

That makes no sense whatsoever heelspider! It's apples and oranges. No one is above the law and the police should be setting an example for the citizens of their jurisdictions. When you see them doing something they could ticket you for and you cannot return the favor, it makes a person angry and frustrated...not opposed to the law in question.

Side: Yes - they save lives
4 points

The government should stay out of personal choices....however, insurance companies could easily state that benefits would not be paid without someone wearing the seatbelt....do not forget, it was the insurance companies which wanted seatbelts installed, not pissed off mommies

Side: No - it's a personal choice
4 points

There is an article at Reason magazine (http://www.reason.com/news/show/33169.html) from 2005 that details the difference in style between the fight against seatbelt laws, and the fight against helmet laws.

In particular it also offers some historical background on the origin of seat belt laws that suggest their enactment had more to do with the will of the auto makers (to avoid having airbag laws):

"In contrast to the motorcycle industry's stance on helmets, automakers played an early and conspicuous role in the debate over seat belt laws, which they began pushing in 1983 as an alternative to the air bags the federal government was threatening to require. That strategy took on a new urgency in 1984, when Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole said the federal air bag mandate would begin to take effect in 1986 but would be lifted if seat belt laws covering at least two-thirds of the U.S. population had been passed by April 1989. (As with the drinking age, which every state has raised to 21 because of a 1984 law that threatened to cut off highway funding if they didn't, the supposedly federalist Reagan administration did not hesitate to impose its preferred traffic safety policies on the states through indirect means.) The auto industry set up a lobby group, Traffic Safety Now, and invested some $100 million to push seat belt laws in the hope of meeting Dole's deadline."

Side: No - it's a personal choice
4 points

It's not a matter of whether you should or shouldn't wear a seat belt, it's about whether you have the right to make that decision for yourself. We seem content to stand by and let our personal liberties get consumed while believing the propaganda that it's only to protect us from ourselves. Shouldn't we have laws prohibiting families with children from buying homes with pools? Statistically, children in that environment are far more likely to suffer severe brain injury and death as a result. What are we going to say when that propaganda starts being milled about? Skateboards, Rollerblades and bicycles too...all statistically shown to be unsafe.

This is going to sound absurd, but isn't the seat belt law (and all "self-protecting" laws like it) just perpetuating the reproduction of stupid people not smart enough to do everything available to protect themselves? These type of laws are just the governments way of insulting you and picking your pocket simultaneously.

In Texas, there used to be a helmet law and then it was repealed. How could that happen? Two reasons, the first is that motorcyclists are known for their "born free" philosophy towards life. The thought of Uncle Sam telling them what to do was enough to motivate bikers to fight the law. Second, from the governments perspective, there weren't enough motorcyclists to generate enough money off tickets to make fighting the battle worth it. It certainly wasn't because motorcycles are safer.

Now when I'm driving home in my car (with it's steel cage, sheet metal, air bags and yes...it's seat belt), and some helmet-less maniac blows by me at 90 mph on his/her bike, mixed with my normal thought of "suicidal maniac" is another thought..."live (or die) free, man!"

Side: No - it's a personal choice
3 points

If someone decides to not wear a seatbelt, then dies, then there will be one less stupid person on the roads.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
3 points

The figure given for money saved by seat belts is $8.8 million. For the sake of argument, I'll assume thats true. Considering how much money the American people spend on everything else, most notably our "war", this is a drop in the bucket for something that actually is benefiting us. Killing the stupid.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
3 points

If you want to die, it's your choice. I was spared by wearing a seatbelt, but I believe it's someone's choice.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
3 points

I don't believe the government, whether it be local, state, or national, should have the right to require me to wear a seat belt.

Some will claim that my right ends where other's rights begin. To which I ask for proof that people who don't wear seat belts have more accidents than those who do. Until that is proven I see no logical reason for the government to interfere in this area.

However, having been in accidents myself and worked accidents (when I was in law enforcement) I highly recommend that people wear their seat belts.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
3 points

In order to better understand the question, one must ask what the purpose of government and laws in direct relation to the people. The most commonly excepted purpose for government is to protect the safety of the people, for that is paramount to anything else. Therefore, when applied to this seatbelt question, one may draw the conclusion that a motorist who is not wearing his/her seatbelt is in no danger of harming another citizen other than their self, and it is therefore unconstitutional to have mandatory seat belt laws.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Do you know what the word "Doublespeak" refers to tbird267? Your argument is a pretty fair example of it. If the safety of the people is paramount to anything else, how do you infer that it is OK to hurt yourself but just not anyone else? How do you see that the driver is in no danger of harming another citizen other than themselves? Unconstitutional? Please explain your comment!

Side: Yes - they save lives
1 point

Thank you, someone who understands the purpose of our government. The other arguments are bordering on absurd. If government truly was to protect us from any harm we could do to ourselves then the most ridiculous laws could be rationalized such as making it illegal to drink too much water. Drinking too much water too quickly can cause medical problems and if way overdone can and has caused death. So shouldn't drinking too much water be illegal? What about stubbing our toe on a rock. Maybe it should be illegal to walk within 100 feet of any rock?

Side: No - it's a personal choice
3 points

We're becoming a nation willing to give up our tiny little freedoms in order to become just a tiny bit more safe. I don't believe the "social contract" obligates us to abide by laws which protect us from ourselves. So I only wear my seatbelt whenever I choose to. When I'm eventually caught, I will loudly and proudly pay my debt to society.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

dude you are speaking it just how i see it as well. It's about control and money and it has very little to do with saving lives. Read about what I wrote earlier just follow the money I have a cop friend that tells me everything and it is a business to them of writing tickets

Side: No - it's a personal choice
oldndnewelli(4) Clarified
1 point

Will you not strap your kids in as a choice and pay the fine when you don't. What if your kid goes through a windshield because you "choose" not to strap him in? Is that how far you want to take your absurd agruement?

Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

If people wish to run the risk of being seriously injured or killed in a car crash, let them. Motorcycle users aren't required to wear helmets, why should car riders be different?

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

this is he first real argument for either side that makes me say HELL YEAH, i have read a lot of facts that support both sides of the argument. i have come to the conclusion that by far it makes sense to wear a seat belt. saying that does not give the government the responsibility to make sure i do so by threatening me with a fine. i live in a state that does not have a helmet law, we have a eyeglass law(while riding). i am amazed that this is allowed to happen while i am forced to wear a seat belt. i feel it is a money generating machine that we have all been force fed to believe. there are facts that some accidents that occurred while the driver or passengers of either vehicle were wearing their seat belts and were more severely injured by that fact. in short i feel that it is a personal decision that i should make. my car is my own little piece of space that i control, and is my personal decision on which one i drive and what i do in it.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

The Us needs to have a national seat belt law because seat belts save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. Some people find that wearing a seat will not save your life and it does. Wearing a seat belt is very important. I think that in some states there should be a state law telling people to buckle up. I say click it or ticket

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

"Motorcycle users aren't required to wear helmets, why should car riders be different?"

I don't know where you live but motorcycle helmets are required in the majority of states. All helmets and restraints save lives and serious injuries whether you care about people or not.

Supporting Evidence: State Motorcycle & Bike Helmet Laws (www.ghsa.org)
Side: Yes - they save lives
robm05(11) Disputed
0 points

"Motorcycle users aren't required to wear helmets"

At least in Mississippi you are required to wear a helmet whenever operating a motorcycle. One of the main reasons behind needing to wear your seat belt happens in cities where you might get your car hit by someone who isn't paying much attention. If you aren't wearing a seat belt you could get bumped out of your seat or repositioned to where you no longer have control of your vehicle. Your seat belt would keep you in control of your vehicle at all times, and it has been proven that seat belt's save more lives than it takes.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
charlesviper(72) Disputed
0 points

If a driver of a car loses control because he or she isn't wearing a seatbelt, and kills a bystander, it is not a matter of them "wanting to run the risk", it is a matter of them injuring or killing a pedestrian. The rights of the individual are not as important as the rights of the group. Laws in America shouldn't be as selective as to allow a single individual a slight decrease in comfort while driving to put the general public in potential danger.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
notpc(4) Disputed
1 point

If anyone can't control a car without having a seatbelt on, they should not be allowed to drive at all as they are completely incompetent, My parents drove tens of thousands of miles before the seat belt laws were passed and not once did either of them lose control of their vehicle because of lack of seatbelts.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

State mandatory seatbelt harness laws are unconstitutional. They infringe on a person’s individual rights as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, namely, the Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
3 points

None of the Articles listed below and that you noted have anything to do with our seat belt laws. Can you give us your interpretation of how they do fit into them?

Article [IV.]

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article [IX.]

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article XIV.

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age,(See Note 15) and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Supporting Evidence: United States House: Amendments to the Constitution (www.house.gov)
Side: Yes - they save lives
oldndnewelli(4) Disputed
1 point

So when your kid goes through the windshield because you choose not to strap him in because it is unconstituional...you will be very proud? Right...safety my friend is #1....

Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

The government has no right to tell me what I should do to protect myself. As long as I'm not hurting anyone else with my decisions then i really don't see the point in seat belt laws..... oh wait yea i do REVENUE!! The only argument for seat belts is that you might be in a crash with another driver that is not wearing a seat belt and he/she might fly out of their car and hit you! When AND ONLY WHEN their actions infringe on your rights can you put laws in place to protect innocent people!

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

I agree;

The goverment has no right to tell me what to do. I am eighteen, when I go on trips with my friends they all put their seatbelts on, i just say "i'll put it on when i want to". Even on planes most of the time i dont!

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

If someone wants to risk there life not wearing a seatbelt, let them. Police need to be worried about more important things then if some idiot is wearing there seatbelt. Only exception to this is if they are under 18

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

We should not have to wear our seat belt its my choice wether i want to be safe or not. It is rediculous how the state/goverment runs our lives we have no freedom anymore we have to do what they say or we pay.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

if u die it should be your fult. so you make the choice to die or get hurt.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

I am a former cop and Nooooooo. What people fail to understand is that you can not put a value on freedom. The guy that said we would have to carry the burden well what about the burden of death that every soldier carried protecting the rights and Constitution of this country? As Benjamin Franklin said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." I have seen people kill because of seat-belts and if it is a game of chance then the choice should be yours. Child safety is up to the parents not the state same as medical treatment for your child its up to you.

Wake up people if you think a pencil pushing blood sucking member of the National Transportation Safety Admin has a clue think again! The people that put the crime statistics out want go to where there is real crime LOL.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

How easy some of us give up freedoms. The feds bribed the states with money to pass this law. It is funny how the ones pushing this bill can claim " They died because they where not wearing a seat belt" and if they where wearing one "they would have died anyways". Then there's "trapped in a burning car by a seat-belt", ''drowning unable to release seat belt". The list is endless on both sides. My brother-in-law was T-boned and lived because he did not have one on. I myself put it on in rain and expressway driving, but 30 to 40 my fear is the side not the front or back, so i do not like them on. To call someone stupid for not using one or using one, is just that. All this law does is give the feds and gov the ability to say what you must do with your property and your body, and you think it will stop there? In the publics best interest you should not skydive, mountain bike, ski, scuba, and by the way that radio station you listen (studies have shown) makes you agitated when driving. I am not property of the state, neither is my car. If you need the state to tell you how to live or die catch a flight to Cuba or Russia. It cost society! o please everybody makes money in crashes and death, body shops, lawyers, doctors, florist, insurance company's with higher rates, heck even the grave diggers. I know its cold to say that but for the love of this country fight for your freedoms to be able to decide.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Yoadrian, grah30 I so agree with bothof you!!! My best friend was tboned and killed because she wore her seatbelt! My neighbor escaped his burning car because he wasnt... This issue is SOO close to home for me!! I have a recent seatbelt ticket and I guess i will be going to court! we all speak about it being unconstitutional... we talk alot... but what can we do? We need more than talk and arguement....we need an action we can all get behind and demand we are heard! any physical ideas out there?

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

Not wearing a seatbelt does not threaten the safety and the lives of others. It is not like drinking and driving or speeding, where other drivers could easily be hurt by your actions. Buckling up is not a public safety measure like street lights and center lines. It only affects the driver’s well being and the driver’s safety. Not wearing a seatbelt is currently a crime. But who is it a crime against?

Side: No - it's a personal choice
Caitychris(4) Disputed
1 point

Not wearing a seatbelt threatens every life inside the car the unbelted person is riding in. If you people truly want to debate that not wearing your seatbelt can't harm others within the same vehicle as you go watch some PSAs.

no seatbelt, no excuse.
Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

No it's a personal choice. Police don't even use their own seat belts. they say its all about safety and saving lives and all of those good things they tell us. It's about writing tickets and getting money for their dept. I have a cop friend and their department needed a new helicopter so they would have rallies like you would see at a car dealership, but rallies to see who can write the most tickets. For every ticket a cop writes 60% of the total payment of the fine goes to that department. Just follow the money people.

Side: No - it's a personal choice

No, it is personal choice. True, seat belts save lives, but the government should force people to strap them in because it is just a revenue generator.

This is akin to the issue on smoking. Smoking is a personal choice. Government has no right in preventing the free choice. Again another tax generator, SIN and SALES TAX.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

This goes along with a similar debate on victimless crimes in which I have said, and will say again, that whether or not I have on a seat belt changes nothing about the crash, as it pertains to you. You are hurt the same, your car wrecked the same.

Yes, wearing them is safer, but whether or not I want to is my choice.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
HEXAGON(2) Disputed
1 point

No, it is in you best interest and safety that you do. Unless you're rebellious and you choose not to care about your safety and well being, then it is not a victimless crime (or a crime for that matter) and you personally did not choose well and caused the matter yourself. Then you have to know it was you, and you can't blame anyone else.

Side: Yes - they save lives
2 points

Government should not exist to protect you from yourself. If I go bungy jumping should I be penalized?

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

Seat belt laws are a very good example of how the government uses "good intentions" to strip us of our rights. They don't save lives they just provide the police an excuse to pull someone over. Before seat belt laws police had to have a good reason to pull you over, now they don't need one and can just say they thought you weren't wearing a seat belt. For those of you in favor of seat belts, just wear them and stop stripping the rest of us of our constitutional right please, thank you.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
2 points

No way.

Laws like these are not to protect people, because after a person dies from it they can't fine anyone. They are to protect the family of the deceased.

Yet every person driving without a seat belt, does not have a family. I mean a family that depends on them as the bread winner.

Even if they do, making it mandatory and fining them if they don't do it doesn't help the family, it actually hinders them because now daddy who was driving 'recklessly' has now lost around $20 to $100 dollars that could have been used on a number of things for said family.

Overall seat belt laws are really stupid, and a cheap (by which I mean unfair) way of making a little extra change on the side, for the government.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

No, I think that seat belts should be optional. If this were the case, more and more stupid people (i.e. people who don't wear their seatbelts) will get killed in car accidents which over time would increase the proportion of smart people to dumb people, and we'd all be better off!

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

As much as we need a law to put the toilet seat down.

ps... I wear my seatbelt AND put the toilet seat down.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

guns are far more dangerous and their legal

Side: No - it's a personal choice

No, we need to put Darwinism back into society. Not everyone should be allowed to live or be kept alive. Letting people make the stupid choice of not wearing their seatbelt is like adding chlorine in the genetic pool.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

The reasons given in support of seatbelt laws in this debate seem ridiculous to me. One argument was that is was the purpose of government to protect its people from themselves. FALSE. Another argument was that it is proven seatbelts increase safety and save lives. Also FALSE. Then, someone was creative enough to say we should have seat belts laws, because of the benefits to ourselves and society and that they do NOT infringe on any rights, even though they would NOT support laws against smoking, drinking, etc. because those activities have "utility" - which I interpret to mean purpose.

In opposition to seat belt laws there are research studies that have shown that while wearing a safety belt may increase an individual's safety in certain types of crashes, it actually INCREASES risk and injury in other types of crashes. Don't just read the government, auto and insurance industry reports - dig a little deeper. Because the research that proves seat belts can actually CAUSE injuries in many types of accidents don’t fit the politically correct view, they are completely ignored. The result is that we never get a true comparison of whether wearing a seat belt actually saves more lives or causes more deaths because those numbers are ignored.

In addition, if the purpose in enacting laws is to save the taxpayer dollars - which was a common argument - why do we focus so intently on infringing on citizens rights when it comes to seat belts as a way to save money, but totally disregard it in other areas? The list of laws we could enact, or repeal that would end up saving dollars is innumerable. I would love to read a research statistic on comparing the costs that are saved due to wearing seatbelts ( a true one that actually addresses the fact that in many types of accidents, they actually CAUSE injuries that would have been avoided without a seatbelt) vs. the costs that would be saved by the taxpayer if smoking were outlawed completely, if overeating were outlawed completely, if drinking were outlawed completely . . . I mean we wouldn't get 100% compliance, but increasing the numbers of individuals in compliance would effect our health care costs immensely. Then, of course, we could jail the violators and thereby force compliance. If this sounds ridiculous to you, is cost really the issue?

If protecting us from ourselves is the argument, and according to more than one supporter, that is (after all) a primary role of government, then the same arguments could be made. Smoking is bad for us - 100% of the time. Therefore, making smoking completely illegal would provide 100% benefit. Seatbelts (if the propaganda is true) are only beneficial for us in the event of an accident. According to the US Census, in my state of Michigan there are approximately 1.3 accidents per 100 million miles driven. Statistically speaking, we would save a LOT more money and lives with a smoking ban . . . IF our concern is really the health of our citizens.

Ultimately, it's a question of liberty. James Madison noted that "there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." When we support the encroachment on ANYONE'S liberty, we open the door to encroachment on our own. Sometimes, even when there are benefits, the benefits RARELY outweigh the loss of liberty. Those willing to give up even a little bit of liberty for any amount of safety deserve neither. (paraphrased)

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

We are American!!!! Why did so many people have to die for our freedom of choices if we are not able to be free? If we are not harming anyone than we should be able to make our own choices...This is just another way for the goverment to fine us and make money... The truth is, we all need to fight for our constiitutional rights. Pease stand up and fight for our rights of justice. I can not fight alone,are you with me? Let's show them what the constitution, and the deaths of so many, really means!!!!

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

IF I AM ALIVE IS BECAUSE I WAS NOT HAVE THE SEAT BELT ON

MY CAR TIP OVER AND LEAKING FUEL AND I ESCAPED FAST

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

It has been shown that seatbelts do not save lives statistically...so why force people to use them. If it make you feel safer then by all means go ahead. The agrument that it reduces insurance rates for all, is pure bull....has your insurance rates gone down...oh right this is where you say they did not go up as fast as they would have. Proving the not argument is a waste of your intellect. What it all means, is simple...another way for the Government to make money. SAS

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Sure, seatbelts save lives, but enacting laws to require people wear seltbelts only saves the lives of stupid people, thus polluting the gene pool.

Side: No - they save stupid people

When someone choices not to wear a seatbelt, it is a personal choice. Even when it comes to children, it is the parent's responsibility to buckle his or her child in the seat. The government only has seatbelt laws for revenue. This is the only justification for it. They are trying protecting others from you because if you get in a accident, both are affected regardless who is at fault. When someone choices not to wear the belt, he is the only person that he is putting at risk. The government possesses no risk except for lost revenue. In order to encourage safe driving, the government should not have to force people to wear a seatbelt by a threat of a fine and penalty.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

I think wearing a seat belt should be a personal choice.There are many cases that the person got hung or trapped because they were wearing a seat belt.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Personally I don't believe i should be fined for not wearing my seatbelt, second i don't like the the whole click it or tick it motto...it sounds really dumb, third i hate how cops are on all of these commercials trying to intimidate you with a $95 fine if they "CATCH YOU" without a seatbelt...I think that if i decide to not wear my seatbelt and crash into a telephone pole isn't that punishment enough for my own stupidity...i just don't agree with making money off of an underlying theme "click it or tick it...were just looking out for your best interest....ok then don't charge me money and try to fine me for it.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

I think that if an adult that knows they could go flying through a car window wants to be a dumbass then they, don't mean to sound messed up, deserve what they get and should not be forced to wear a seatbelt.

However, I feel that children should have to wear seat belts because they do not fully understand the consequences of not wearing one.

Side: No - they save stupid people
Akulakhan(2960) Disputed
0 points

Any person not wearing a seatbelt is a threat to the lives of everyone else inside the same car. The immense amount of forces involved in a car crash cause any person without a seatbelt to be a moving projectile. This is manslaughter.

Side: Yes - they save lives
domlpz1(15) Disputed
2 points

yeah but last time i check, children are supposed to be in the backseat due to air bags so if children are wearing seatbelts there ok and if the adults aren't well then they can go flying through the window. Just one less idiot left in the world.

Side: No - they save stupid people
1 point

NO!!! Each and every American who has a seatbelt law in their state should take that as the highest of insults. This law (along with any law that gets in the way of you being able to decide what is best for you) is basically saying that you are not smart enough to make this decision on your own so your political leader must decide that for you.

When did personal choices become the responsibility of the government to decide on? Obviously seatbelts save some lives but if the government gets to decide we wear seatbelts then why not rule that smoking is illegal? That is just as harmful, if not more so, especially to other people, than driving without a seatbelt. How about drinking alcohol, or having unprotected sex, or people on welfare with no job and 6 other kids having another child with yet another different man?

The problem here is that people want the government to get too involved in their lives. This leads to our individual freedoms slowly being stripped from us. When we allow our leaders to make laws that impede in the decisions of our daily lives we are allowing them entry into the very being of who we are and who we have the ability to become.

This country was founded on the need to be absolutely and completely free people with the rights and abilities to make our own decisions on what is best for our own lives. Somewhere along the line we Americans began to see and believe the government is bigger and more important than the people. That is very sad because is it completely opposite of the country our forefathers envisioned for us. The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States outlined all we would ever need to live full, happy lives. In those documents we were given the blueprint of a country created and run FOR the people, BY the people, not FOR the people FROM the government.

Now I know some people will argue that I am making too much out of this but I say they are not making enough out of it. In the Declaration of Independence we are all afforded "Unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Well I for one am not happy wearing a seatbelt, wearing a motorcycle helmet, or being told I cannot decide what I want to do with my body or life.

Stand up people and make American what it was meant to be. Start by reading The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States. Your political leaders are there FOR you and when they are not making the decisions you want them to make, remove them from their position.

On a more personal note, I was in a nasty car crash years ago where it was determined that if I had worn my seatbelt I would have been killed. I was in the passenger seat and the car was broad-sided crushing the passenger side door in on me. Somehow I had the presence of mind to push myself up and toward the driver which threw me against the driver's side door interior. I walked away with a badly bruised leg with temporary nerve damage along with other cuts and bruises, but nothing life threatening. The passenger side door ended up in the middle of the car and the seat was demolished. I have never and will never wear a seatbelt after that.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

I was involved in a very serious accident. I was wearing a seatbelt which did me no good. I was hit from behind and the drivers seat broke, causing me to fall into the back seat. When firemen arrived on the scene, they had to break a window to climb in because all the doors were jammed shut from the force of the impact.

There are no statistics regarding how many lives are saved by NOT wearing a seatbelt. Insurance companies just want another way to raise your rates, because if they have to pay even one claim, it cuts into their DESIRED profits; (read up on how insurance companies pay their employees perks: you don't even know what you're paying for, I guarantee) you getting a ticket for a seatbelt violation legally allows them to raise your rates. It's in your policy: check it out.

Add to that the fact that many police departments/townships/counties, etc. use these violations as a means of generating income: your government mandated taxes are quite simply not enough for your elected officials and officers to run YOUR department/township/county, etc. on.

Seatbelts do not work for everyone, and they do not work in every case: IT SHOULD BE A PERSONAL CHOICE AND NOT A LAW!

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

It should be a persons personal choice after they turn 18. My brother-in-law was killed in a wreck because a limb came into the window on his side and put a hole in his head. The seatbelt held him in place for this to happen.

thanks

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Here's the final argument.If everyone is so concerned about paying health care costs of injured drivers.Why should a single person have to pay school taxes to send children , that are not theirs, to school.In both cases seat belt and school taxes each were passed without direct voting of the people.Seat belt laws were passed against a populace majority, at the time they were enacted 75 to 80 percent of the people did not wear them and would have voted no.I say the people who have been driving before they were passed make their own choice and single taxpayers with no children should not have to support mistakes made by others .Why then?,because our system here in US distributes the tax burden of school costs across all,if you say I must wear a seat belt to cut your health care costs then I say you must either quit making children that I have to support or I should be get a refund of all school taxes I have paid.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

No-its a choice. I can't believe in The USA the law can force you to wear a seatbelt but won't do thing to protect an unborn child. But thats a whole other debate. When people say seatbelts save 5500 or whatever lives a year, that is not true. What about the lives saved by not having a seatbelt fastened. I personally know someone who was in a terrible accident and was thrown from the vehicle because of not having a seatbelt. The gas tank ruptured and the vehicle was engulfed in flames immediately after the accident. That person is now alive and healthy. Had they been trapped by a seatbelt they most likely would be dead. You have to subtract the lives saved by not wearing a belt from those saved by wearing one. What about someone who's car goes into water and they are trapped by a seatbelt and drown? True, most likely more are saved by wearing the belt than not wearing it but it still should be a choice, its not a crime against anyone. As far as the argument that it might save one life if schoolbuses had seatbelts--well ok then lets take that reasoning to its logical conclusion- keeping our children home from school would probably save more than one life so lets keep them home from school. You can't make life risk free for anyone and to take away someones rights for the sake of "protecting everyone from every harm" I would rather be free and have rights. It was one of the founding fathers who said something to the effect, " anyone who gives up freedom for a little security deserves neither.

Side: No - it's a personal choice

There was a study done with Rhesus monkeys in the 70s...About 1500 of them. They were strapped to sleds and pushed down a hill. All had seat belts. They crashed into a wall at the end of the hill.

All of the monkeys survived. Yay for seat belts!!!

Wait...

Monkey number 251 had 8 broken ribs, hemorrhaging, a broken arm, and a dislocated hip.

Monkey number 479 was broken in half at the base of his spine and put to sleep shortly after the test.

1326 of the 1500 monkeys died within thirty minutes after the test.

Result - Seat belts make no difference; if anything, they make things worse.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

To the supporters who believe it's an acceptable law because it saves lives....Eating a healthy diet, maintaining what someone has decided is an ideal weight, and wearing a condom may also save lives, but would you support a law that made these decisions for you? The argument should not be about whether wearing seatbelts save lives, it should be about the governments right to intervene.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

I am writing an argumentative paper for my freshman English class on how seat belt enforcement laws should be reevaluated. I started this paper with the thought that seat belts do protect your safety but still give the government too much power. After having done a considerable amount of research, I was astonished! We spend far more money on campaign advertisement for the "Click it or Ticket" campaign, police enforcement of the laws, and federal granted rewards to states possessing these laws, than we are saving on the healthcare provided for those persons injured in accidents. Just think about how much money it costs to employ one police officer. We pay for training programs, uniforms, vehicles, salaries, and so much more. Now that we have seat belt enforcement laws we are required to employ more officers to enforce these laws. Imagine that each state needs to hire 50 new police officers. That is roughly 2500 officers that your tax dollars are paying for! Not only is it expensive it isn't proven to save lives. The governments own agency, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put out a safety report in 2006. ((www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov) stating that in cars 48% of persons in accidents died when wearing their seat belt versus the 44% that died from NOT wearing one! SOOOO where did the government come up with all these statistics saying it's safer to wear a seat belt?!?! Oh and did I forget to mention you are employing police officers and the government to disregard your civil rights!!! Our government was created on the basis that human beings would have the right to make their own decisions when it regarded their own persons and property. Our fore fathers created our country this way, because of the discrimination's held against them in their former countries. If we continue to let our government take control of our everyday decisions, than we turn into the type of government that our fore fathers were running away from to begin with! We need to stand up, as a people, and fight for the freedoms that our fore fathers fought so hard to give to us!

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

The law says you must wear eye glasses to drive a motorcycle..makes sense. something hits your eye and an accident will probably follow. helmets are not required but suggested..makes sense again. ride the bike with no shoes,shirt,socks,gloves or just a bathing suit..knock yourself out. Someone out there please tell me how in the world is not wearing a seat belt in an automobile going to cause an accident? Please keep in mind I am not referring to small children or infants, I'm talking about an adult in the drivers seat. The fine in Fl is $75 with no marks against your license...One hell of a way to pay the bills wont you say?

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

If the law allows us to have the choice of abortions and kill human life then we should have the choice on wether or not we want to wear a seatbelt. Its a freedom of choice and if we choose not to wear a seatbelt then that effects no one but ourselves.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Saying you should wear your seat belt because its safe and save lives

is kinda of like saying you should drive a Big SUV or Truck or 4x4 instead

of a small sport compact or even a motorcycle because its safer and save lives.

1. bus don't have seat belts

2. motorcycle don't have to wear helmets

3. out of all the country in the world, the country with most traffic laws are the ones with the most Deaths and Accidents

I mean who is to tell you what is safer or not ?

being uncomfortable is also a safe issue is it not ?

i'm a safer drive when i don't wear my seat belt because i'm more aware and focus because

if i was to crash i'm fuck. plus i'm very comfortable.

i just wear it because of tickets.

and strange enough when i was in my two accidents, I happen to worn my seal belt.

the dumb thing is when i was caught not wearing a seat belt and got a ticket.

i didn't even get a ticket for speeding, ( was going 38 give or take on a 30 mph zone )

so when people go well its the law, its kinda of like saying well you sped over the limit so too bad.

what give ?

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Saying you should wear your seat belt because its safe and save lives

is kinda of like saying you should drive a Big SUV or Truck or 4x4 instead

of a small sport compact or even a motorcycle because its safer and save lives.

1. bus don't have seat belts

2. motorcycle don't have to wear helmets

3. out of all the country in the world, the country with most traffic laws are the ones with the most Deaths and Accidents

I mean who is to tell you what is safer or not ?

being uncomfortable is also a safe issue is it not ?

i'm a safer drive when i don't wear my seat belt because i'm more aware and focus because

if i was to crash i'm fuck. plus i'm very comfortable.

i just wear it because of tickets.

and strange enough when i was in my two accidents, I happen to worn my seal belt.

the dumb thing is when i was caught not wearing a seat belt and got a ticket.

i didn't even get a ticket for speeding, ( was going 38 give or take on a 30 mph zone )

so when people go well its the law, its kinda of like saying well you sped over the limit so too bad.

what give ?

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

SEAL BELTS ARE STUPID

HERE ARE THE REASONS WHY

1. PEOPLE STILL DIE FROM SEAL BELT

2. MOST CRASH IF NOT ALL CRASH ARE SEAL BELT USERS

3. IF ITS A FATAL CRASH YOUR GOING TO END UP DEAD ANYWAYS

4. IF YOUR GOING TO DIE.. AT LEAST LET IT BE QUICK...

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

So it seems some believe in government intrusion. So let's enforce a fine for everyone who comes into a hospital/doctor's office with an STD. Same principle applies as this has more fees and is in general good for society. So let's fine them 200.00 a pop for making what we as society has determined a wrong choice by the end results.

Likewise, this seatbelt law is not applied to everyone, therefore is unconstiitutional on that premise alone. The original law was passed forcing the automakers to have these installed on vehicles to preclude that they would have to have airbags in vehicles. Our rights has eroded to the point that today we have cops pulling drivers over for nothing and can say they thought they wern't wearing a seatbelt, and then proceed to check the vehicle over and harass the drivers. This infringes on our rights as outlined in the early 1800's to be able to drive anywhere within the U.S. unhampered by the police force.

Newhampshire, with the lowest accident rate has no primary seatbelt law!!

The states were bribed by the federal government to enact these primary laws, ie that in itself should worry anyone who believes in their constitutional rights!

Side: No - it's a personal choice

I think that if people want to put their life in danger, then they shouldn't have to wear a seatbelt. You shouldn't get a ticket for something that you should be able to do. Now, if you don't want to put your life in danger, then you can wear a seatbelt.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

one question to seatbelt law/advocates - what effect does one NOT wearing seatbelt have on others? Would outlawing seatbelts have a direct effect on manufacturers of sealtbelts and how much revenue would they lose?

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Because it is our own personal vehicle and hurts no one but the person evolved. If it is a minor child or individual is in a company or govt vehicle then they should be required. But if individual is 18 or older then definitely. To much govt/ state / political control!

Side: No - it's a personal choice

I believe that when you reach a certain age (18 I presume), you should choose whether or not you want to wear a seatbelt. Everyone knows the consequences, and if you decide you don't want to wear one, that's a personal choice.

Side: No - it's a personal choice

I don't think someone should be coerced to wear a seat belt.

Side: No - it's a personal choice

No, we need to reduce rush hour traffic.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
0 points

Leave the pressure to wear them to the insurance companies. Penalise insurance companies when their customers attempt claims when found not wearing them.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
charlesviper(72) Disputed
1 point

The insurance company cares solely about making money, whereas the argument should really be based on "do seatbelts save lives?", which enters the government sector.

Creating a fine or ticket system for people who don't wear seatbelts helps deter people from putting others in danger. It is easier to lose control of a vehicle when not wearing seatbelts, why take that risk? While proponents of a limited government would suggest seatbelt laws infringe personal liberties and freedom, the truth is that personal liberties end where other's begin. You cannot benefit the individual at expense of the group, which is what you do when you allow people to drive without seatbelts.

Side: Yes - they save lives
cobridad13(5) Disputed
1 point

my question to this argument is this, did not wearing your seat belt cause you to get thrown from your seat to cause you to loose control of your vehicle? answer probably not it was an accident that caused you to lose control. once again i say accident.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
0 points

I really think that a person should have a right to do whatever he or she thinks is ok to do with his body, unless it bothers somebody else.

When i am not wearing a seatbelt the only person that is in danger is me. I'm taking the risks. Okay if i get into an accident i have less chances to stay alive. Well i'm okay with that. Why should anyone else care about my life if i do not?

There should be a punishment for driving drunk, for speeding, for anything that can endanger everyone else. But a law about seatbelts is the same as a law obliging you to buy a car with 10 airbags, an ABS etc. Or obliging you to play football in full protection i mean come on - you can get hurt.

So i see no use in such a law.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
sparsely(495) Disputed
1 point

That you're the only person in danger is not true if there are other occupants in the vehicle. In a collision, your unbuckled body becomes a projectile, bouncing around the car. When two skulls meet each other at a high velocity, the result is not pretty.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
sunderbug(4) Disputed
1 point

when i get out of bed i the morning... I have already put myself in danger... prob. being asleep all night as well.. unconcious and totally unaware of my suroundings. Its life and we ALL will die...you can only save a life temporarily... not forever.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
1 point

Generally speaking I would say you're correct, however, in this case you may be dead wrong and someone else may be as well. You're hardly the only person in danger when you're driving with or without a seatbelt. Any other person, in your car, on the road or any pedestrian is in danger as well. That goes without saying in any accident. The manufacturers can put in any amount of air bags, 4 or all wheel drive, an ABS and traction systems which work virtually without your input. Seat belts and harnesses are the only things that are up to you.

If you become unseated while entering an accident you have no more control of your vehicle. You and anyone around can be hurt more if you have no control of your vehicle.

Side: Yes - they save lives
cobridad13(5) Disputed
1 point

i have a statement for you. pay attention. i used to live in the mountains and would see so many 4x4 and cars with traction control end up in the ditch because of the false sense of security that these people driving them had. we take more risks when we feel more secure.

Side: No - it's a personal choice
Yoadrian(4) Disputed
0 points

Here is a view to ponder on, if i die due to the seat belt being jammed by an accident and drown, burn or suffocated by the pull of it and you by law, force me to wear it should you not be charged with murder and full liability.

Side: No - it's a personal choice