This letter is in response to the article State seat belt laws proving productive (SN 1/18).
The recent law that allows police officers to stop and ticket drivers for not wearing a safety belt has been praised for increasing seat belt usage among Michigan drivers. There are, however, several problems with this law that must not be overlooked.
One problem is that this legislation can be used to discriminate against minorities and others. The safety belt law gives police officers yet another opportunity to discriminate, which may lead to an increase in driving while black and other related cases.
Another issue is that using legislation to keep people from harming themselves is a waste of time and tax dollars. People who choose not to buckle up are making a conscious choice to put their lives in danger. Our tax dollars could be used to do something more useful than send police out to check for safety belts.
The safety belt law is yet another example of the waste and discrimination that occur when the government tries to save people from themselves.
political science/pre-law junior