Sunday, 02 September, 2001
Caught Without a Seatbelt
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts "are the most effective means of reducing fatalities and serious injuries when traffic crashes occur." The linked article has the details. I've been a believer for years, and since 1980 when I made a pledge during a pre-Spring Break safety drive to wear my seat belt during vacation, I've always worn it in the car. It's automatic. I get in, put the keys in the ignition, put on my glasses, buckle the belt, and start the engine.
Imagine my surprise this morning when I looked in the mirror and saw a DPS vehicle with its lights on and the officer motioning me to pull over. Yep. I got a ticket for not wearing my seat belt. I had just completed a long ride with some friends, loaded the bike into the truck, got in and took off. I must have been distracted by something or another, because I simply forgot to buckle the belt. I couldn't help but laugh when he started writing the ticket. He was surprised that I took it so calmly, and even thanked me for my courtesy. Sure, I think the law's stupid, but then so is driving without a seat belt. And ranting about the law to the officer wouldn't do anything anyway, except maybe give him cause to search for something else with which to charge me. I've been chuckling about this one all day. I wonder what it's going to cost me.