Thursday, May 24, 2007

'Live Free or Die'

Lives another day. The Union Leader reports:

The mandatory seatbelt bill hit a bump in the road when the Senate Transportation and Interstate Committee voted to recommend the bill be killed.

The committee voted 3-2 on the recommendation and the full Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill May 31. ...

The bill, HB 802, passed the House last month by 13 votes. New Hampshire is the last state in the country without a mandatory seatbelt law, although restraints are required for children and teenagers. ...

[Republican Sen. Bob] Clegg said after the committee vote, "I don't think we should ever fear punishment as a reason to do anything. Government shouldn't be something everybody is afraid of. If seatbelts are a good idea, then we ought to educate people so they'll use them.

He said he does not use a seat belt when he drives his truck, and is not convinced that seatbelts provide a fail-safe remedy to highway deaths.

"My son once slid sideways on the ice and ended up with a branch through the door of his car. If he'd been wearing a seatbelt, it would've skewered him. Instead, the branch pushed him to the other side of the car," Clegg said. "So no, I choose not to buckle, and I think it's baloney that the government would tell me that I have to, or else."

UPDATE: James Taranto relays another story where wearing a seatbelt would have ended a driver's life. Is it not clear drivers ought to be able to decide for themselves whether wearing a seatbelt is in their own best interests?

UPDATE II: New Hampshire becomes the 13th state to reject Congress's Real ID program mandating updated state drivers licenses.

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