Letters to the Editor or Opinion Re Weekend story Daily Courier regarding vandalism
The problems with diminishing police protection is certainly that needs to be addressed as highlighted by this weekend headline story on vandalism. It seems clear to me that we should address some of ‘our’ police priorities. I personally believe it was highly possible that there were insufficient police available to patrol Ms. Demarco’s property because the police were probably off somewhere held up anywhere from half an hour to 45 minutes giving some motorists a ticket for not having their seatbelt on. I fail to see how my or anybodies driving without a seatbelt on endangers the public. I can smoke, drink, swim in the river, jump out of airplanes, climb trees and hike across the mountains but I cannot drive my car without my seatbelt on. I don’t get it. Couldn’t the time spent giving seatbelt tickets be better used hunting down real criminals? Next thing you know we will have the nacho squad arresting people for going over their safe cholesterol level.
Please, may I have just one brief moment to consider something that could save everybody lots of money. For good intent but not very well thought out, we are forcing our police to do literally thousand of hours of work that has nothing to do with PUBLIC SAFETY, nothing! The thought was good and there will be opposition but we need our police now more than ever and releasing them from policing individual preference, and again I must stress; something that has absolutely nothing to do with PUBLIC SAFETY. I’m talking about drivers seatbelts. Whether or not I have a seatbelt on has absolutely nothing to do with PUBLIC SAFETY and PUBLIC SAFETY is what our police are supposed to be doing. Oh I know it saves lives, but so would not smoking, eating improperly, swimming, rock climbing or any of a thousand different things we as individuals choose. To make it a law that you had to drive with a seat belt on is an infringement of personal choice. I’m not arguing a child safety device, that is fine, any reasonable parent should be doing that anyway but whether or not the driver is wearing a seatbelt will make absolutely no difference to anybody except himself. Insurance companies are already deducting compensation for not wearing a seat belt, that is just.
Please, stop the madness. Next it might be nacho police. Forget driver seat belts. Release our police departments from doing tens of thousands of hours a year of writing and processing PUBLIC SAFETY pointless tickets.
Sept 22, 2003
One of these well intentioned ‘things’ that we have done is pass a law requiring people to wear seatbelts. On the surface this sounds like such a wonderful thing. So what is wrong with it? First of all, I think it is my personal right to drive with or without a seatbelt on. It affects no one else, it doesn’t help with the safety of another single person and insurance wise, they are already deducting the difference if I were involved in an accident. The laws protecting children or passengers regarding seatbelts; is another matter; safety to others, but as for themselves; why does it matter? Isn’t this the state that overwhelming passed the death with dignity law not once but twice? That’s a personal thing. A short time back I saw a couple smoking in a car with two infants, but that isn’t against the law. I can water ski, snow ski, sky dive, mountain climb, motorcycle race, motocross, cross the oceans in a small boat, gamble away this months rent, jump from high places with a bungee cord attached to my feet, give my two year old soda pop and pump my five year old full of sweets and that is OK. What I can’t do is drive a car without a seat belt on. If life is the only reason behind this, than reduce the speed limit 10 miles per hour and enforce that. You would probably save 10 times as many people and make seat belts unnecessary. Obviously there is more to it than just saving lives.
So a policeman stops somebody for not wearing a seatbelt. What does that take, half an hour, 45 minutes? They give out 10,000 tickets for no seat belt in the U.S. over a given time, that is 5000 to 7500 hours our policemen are wasting giving somebody a ticket for their personal preference. Wouldn’t you rather we have another 5000 hours of police time be spent reducing real crime, chasing Al Qadae? How many other short-sighted laws have been passed that are wasting law enforcement time and making lawyers rich?
Personally, I would like to see less laws and less lawyers. Give law enforcement more time to do what they were meant to do, catch criminals.
I am clearly missing something, why don’t people see it. 25 million dollars the government is spending during a recession to encourage our police to harass the public. Not chase crooks, killers and terrorists but John Q Public. Do you hear me? The “government” wants the states to rigidly enforce “seat belt laws.” Now, on the surface, admittedly it sounds like a good thing but it is like a leak in a dam that is watering a flower. It looks good at first but it is not. My personal use of a seat belt has absolutely no bearing on public safety. None. Zilch Nada. It is a personal choice, it is a personal choice to smoke, to eat potato chips, race cars, jump out of airplanes and climb mountains. Now the passengers of a car, that is a different story however I would like to point out that the passengers on a school bus do not even have seat belts. Of all the people we might want to protect, children should be our NO. 1 priority. Why do you suppose it is like that? Money and politicians is the answer. If the national organization of no driver seat belt laws had given the politicians their due, this would never have been an issue. For example, school bus manufactures and owners have lobbied congress vigorously and as a consequence there are no seat belts in school busses and the seat backs are lined with hard metal tubing. The tobacco industry kills directly or indirectly 400,000 people a year but there are no laws against my smoking most places but the tobacco industry over the years has literally given billions to politicians to keep the government off their back. Now it might seem like a good idea to force people to adopt good healthy habits but the fact of the matter is that is a matter of personal choice and the government has no business ordering me what to do with my life. Making a law that appears to be doing a good thing but really restricts personal freedom is another chink in the dam of personal liberties. Please, if there is any doubt at all, do not reelect politicians. Remember, they spend 90% of their time figuring out how to sweet talk you & stay employed.
I watched a guy on TV today do a back flip on a motorcycle. He does this sort of thing for a living. He says he is working on a double back flip, on a motorcycle. Now it is against the law for me “NOT” to wear a seat belt and this is for my protection, but this guy can do back flips on a motorcycle and get paid for it.
Senator Alan Bates
900 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
Money, nothing runs with out it.
Everybody is in dire need of money everywhere, many things that could be done are not due to lack of it. I don't need to tell you that. Everybody in concentrating on "where to get more or new money." There is another way. Here is where your 'feelings' might get in the way.
For example, and this is probably the biggest one; seat belt laws. No wait a minute, I would like you to give this an honest objective look. What does "MY" wearing of a seat belt have to do with 'Public Safety'? NOTHING! Laws requiring seatbelts are for my "personal" safety and nothing else. The government has no right making laws that are directed at my personal safety. There is no law against leaving soap in the bottom of the bathtub yet if I were to step on it I could easily be hurt or killed. It 'IS' the same thing. So our police are spending tens of thousands of hours a year giving out seat citations when they could be looking for bad guys, don't you think? I have lots more on this but I know I must be brief.
Your time and consideration is appreciated.