Vail Daily’s View: Legislature could use restraint with seat-belt laws | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily’s View: Legislature could use restraint with seat-belt laws

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail, CO, Colorado
newsroom@vaildaily.com

Anyone who doesn’t realize it’s a lot safer to drive with their seat belt on either believes they’re indestructible or also doesn’t know that there’s a flu going around, or who the president is, or how the Internet works.

Wearing seat belts was the subjects of what was probably the most successful public safety campaign in history: Do you know anyone who doesn’t wear seat belts? Compare the vast effectiveness of the seat belt campaign to, say, “Say No to Drugs” or, sadly, “Don’t Drink and Drive.”

The Colorado Legislature, however, feels it has something to add to this decades-old campaign. It appears close to passing a law that would allow police to pull over people who are suspected of not wearing their seat belt.

That law is already in place in some parts of Eagle County and the state. Elsewhere, you can get a ticket if you are pulled over for something else ‹ speeding, expired tags, drag racing — and you’re not wearing a seat belt — and that seems sufficient to us.

Do cops really need another “reasonable cause” to pull us over? The Legislature already seems poised to pass a law banning talking on cell phones while driving (unless you’re using some kind of hands-free device).

Distraction is one of the biggest reason for car accidents. So how about a public service campaign that says “Don’t talk on your cell while drinking coffee and fiddling with your satellite radio while merging onto on interstate” before our Legislature makes it illegal to turn up the volume on their car stereo.

Again, we think everyone should wear their seat belts at all times. The evidence that it’s a million times safer is incontrovertible and overwhelming.

What we’re against is a piling on of laws by this Democrat-controlled state Legislature, especially when there is already law punishing us for not wearing seat belts and most everyone has already adopted this behavior that the law is attempting to over-enforce.

Vail Daily Editorial Board