Senator Corey Palumbo (D) Kanawha, is frustrated. The Senate recently passed a bill making seat belt non usage a primary offense. This means that if the bill passes the House, police can pull you over if they see you drive by and suspect that you do not have your seat belt on.
On first thought, this might sound benign. Who doesn't support the idea of wearing seat belts? It prevents a lot of automobile deaths. Wearing them while driving is a no brainer.
Buy why is it the government's business to force me to be safer? Why should they care if I survive an accident or fly through my front window at 60 MPH after hitting a tree? My death ultimately directly harms no one but myself? Why on earth is it anyone's business but mine how safe I choose to be if I crash my car?
Even worse, making seat belt usage a primary offense will give police cause enough to pull over anyone, anytime. If they see you whipping by at 50 MPH, how can they tell if you are wearing your seat belt. They cannot. All the cause they need is to believe that the seat belt is disengaged. Worst case scenario, they use it as an excuse to pull over people that they believe look suspicious. Most police are not like this, but there are a few bad apples out there.
If they thought about it, the black community would probably fight this on those grounds. They have a fear that they get targeted unfairly. Some who have displayed the "Don't Tread On Me" sticker have made the same complaints.
Seat belt use ought to be an individual choice, not a nanny state policy. Making their non use a primary offense simply opens the door to abuse by introducing more subjectivity into traffic stops. The House should dump this bill.