Thing Can Lead to Big Trouble
say youre unlucky enough to live in a state that has a mandatory
buckle up for safety law. But you prefer not to wear
a seat belt for any of several perfectly valid personal reasons,
none of which are anyone elses business or at least, not the
governments business. Not unless you also believe that whether
you eat your veggies, exercise three times a week and get a good
nights sleep each night are also ticket-worthy matters of
So, you dont
wear the belt.
You go about
your business, harming no one. One day, Officer Not-So-Friendly
issues you a ticket for not wearing the belt. This irritates you,
because you dont accept the right of people who arent
your spouse or your parents to lecture you about your personal lifestyle
choices much less cotton to the notion that the state has
any legitimate business harassing (fining!) you over such
things. You accept that the state has the right the duty
to intervene when your actions cause harm to others. But
how is not wearing a seat belt a threat to anyone other than oneself?
And is that any more the states business than the girth of
ones waistline? Or ones diet? Ones recreations?
Of course not. This is America not nursery school.
So, you crumple
the ticket into a little ball and throw it where it belongs
in the trash.
A few months
down the road, you find yourself coming up on a safety
checkpoint. You are forced to stop your car, roll down your window
and hand over ID and other paperwork to another Officer Not-So-Friendly.
He informs you that your privilege to drive has been
suspended on account of your having not paid the fine for the seatbelt
ticket of several months back. But he gives you a break
and says hell only issue you a ticket, which will be
dismissed later on provided you pay the original fine. You of course
have no intention of paying the fine but, wishing to end the encounter
and be on your way, sign the new ticket and prepare to drive off.
Buckle your seat belt, orders Officer-Not-So-Friendly.
You do not. And drive off.
So does Officer-Not-So-Friendly.
Now you are
ordered out of your car and arrested for driving a motor vehicle
without the requisite permission slip. And for refusing to wear
your seatbelt. Your car is hauled off to the impound lot.
dollars later, you bail-bond yourself out of the Hotel Graybar and
your friend (because you have lost your privileges)
drives home your car.
begin to get heavy.
were convicted of driving without a valid/current permission slip,
your insurance company has cancelled your policy. Since insurance
is mandatory, if you want to keep your vehicle legally registered,
you are forced to go begging to another one of the cartels
members which makes you an offer you cant refuse: No
insurance, or SR-22 insurance and a premium jump from the
$300 a year you were paying as a good driver with no
accidents or claims filed against you to $2,000 a year as a newly
minted bad driver based on the record of your
driving without permission because you didnt pay the original
the rest of the article
[send him mail] is an automotive
columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2012 Eric Peters
Best of Eric Peters