Friday, January 18, 2013

Policing for Profit: Tennessee's Seat Belt Law

In route to work today, I experienced first hand a perfect example of Policing for Profit in our country.  Several years ago, my home state of Tennessee rolled out their "Click It or Ticket" program in an effort to force citizens to buckle up.  By the program's slogan alone, we see the State makes no attempt to disguise their true motivation behind this new law... the MONEY.  Aside from the cash flow generated by the tickets themselves, the federal government doles out incentive money to states to enforce such laws ($500 Million alone from 2005-2009.)  Currently, 32 states have enacted such laws with fines varying from $10-$200 per incident and classified as a misdemeanor charge.  In some of these states including Tennessee, not wearing your seat belt is probable cause enough by itself to pull you over.   There are currently no statistics available as to how much money these tickets generate but citations have been numbered as high as tens of thousands per month per state.

Fuck Tha Police (inks on bristol / 2012)

Of the many reasons drivers choose to not buckle up, I fall into the "comfort" category.  As you surely know constant viewer, I'm both big and tall standing at 6'2.  My seat belt in my van runs across my neck and is very uncomfortable not to mention dangerous.  Oftentimes, devices such as seat belts simply hurt as often as they harm.  According to a study by Time Magazine, drivers are even found to be more careless when using their safety belts falling under the allure of the illusion of safety.  Safety belts are very effective in head-on collisions and keep both drivers and passengers from being ejected from the vehicle.  On the other hand, they cause head injuries and death in rollovers, fires, water submersion and side-impact crashes.  Keep in mind, I'm not implying that seat belts DON'T save lives but only that the statistics of such instances are selectively used to create and impose more money-making laws upon the public.  A seat belt can save you but it can also kill you, despite the hype.  Not buckling up only effects you, not the people around you.  Again, we are faced with a situation of the freedom of choice and whether or not such a decision should be left to the individual occupying the vehicle.  In the "freest" country in the world, I again say we aren't free at all due to Police State laws such as this which only go to widen profiling, illegal stops and illegal searches.  The United States continues day by day and minute by minute to fine, arrest and imprison more of its citizens than ANY country in the world.

In America, Policing is a Business plain and simple (only nobody is getting a product or service in return for their money being extorted.)  Read more about this in my article, The Privatized Police State.

Click HERE to read a 160 Page Report, The Truth About Seat Belts which debunks much of the selective statistics which supposedly prove seat belts save lives.   

2 comments:

  1. If memory serves correctly, when seatbelt laws were enacted in Tennessee they were not going to be revenue generating (no fines imposed) and the failure to wear a seatbelt would not be cause to pull over a driver. This is what happens when citizens give-in a little; government continues to take. Now, HB613 has been proposed to increase the fine. All with a good cause as the target - raising funds for children's services. Who in the House can vote against this HB613 and not be charged as insensitive to children's issues?

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    Replies
    1. Indeed what oftentimes starts with our best intentions in mind is quickly distorted in the throws of capitalism.

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