Helmet, or Cellmate

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I am so proud of my state, Alabama. Our governor has a click it or ticket ad on TV where in he officially urges us to buckle up. He does more than plead, he threatens. “It’s the law – click it or ticket.” It’s no longer the Bible Belt, but the Buckle-up Belt.

My governor, and his fellow governors, are getting $32 million in federal grants for seat-belt enforcement programs. If somebody gave me $32 mil, I guess I’d talk up seat belts too (unless I lived in brave little New Hampshire, the only state with no seat-belt laws for adults). But I think I’d ruminate over the cost; every time a law officer mans a checkpoint he’s not around to deter a robber)’, a rape, a homicide. And every time they run that seat belt ad they don’t run an ad about the penalties of robbing a convenience store. If they’re going to televise speeches to lawbreakers, I would prefer the convenience store lecture, focusing on the immoral and dangerous – not the buckle-up speech focusing on the foolish and careless.

I don’t like the idea of penalizing those whose perilous behavior affects only their own mortal bodies. If the government has the right to spy on and invade my car, what logical impediment bars their intrusion in my home? It’s a small step from my Mercury Marquis to my den, which contains a buckleless recliner, towering two feet over the parqueted den floor.

Next thing you know the state will demand we wear bike safety helmets on any car trips beyond our own driveway. Armed officers will monitor and patrol the roads. Burglar)’, rape, and murder will flourish. What police department would have the time to fight that bloody stuff? Besides, it’s dangerous. If I’m John Law, I’d rather harass motorists.

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