Here’s a flashback from Canadian news. In 1989 a judge ruled that seat-belt use could not be made mandatory under the constitution:
There is a $162 fine for not complying with occupant restraint laws.
The United States apparently has been more successful at defeating stupid attempts to rule safety technology unconstitutional.
Seat belt laws have mainly been challenged as a violation of an individual’s constitutionally protected right to privacy and as an invalid exercise of a state’s constitutionally granted police power. These arguments have been rejected by the courts in Illinois, Iowa, and New Jersey, and also, we believe in New York. The North Carolina case unsuccessfully attacked the law on different grounds, e.g., that it represented involuntary servitude and slavery. The Montana case involved a declared “free” man’s unsuccessful assertion that he was not subject to any state or federal laws.
Ok, Montana might take the prize for being the dumbest take on freedom (obviously laws protect freedoms by encoding definitions of encroachment) but someone in North Carolina actually argued slavery?!
Leave it to a Carolinian to put forward an official argument that slavery is equivalent to putting on a seat belt.
I can’t bring myself to read the court documents for fear I’ll find someone writing down that slavery was just a way to protect slaves from being enslaved.
Michigan Rep. David Hollister received a letter likening him to Hitler
New Yorkers complained in a similar fashion, although they invoked Russia.
Speaking of dictators, Ronald Reagan tried to block a NHTSA rule requiring passive restraints and was struck down by his Supreme Court in a unanimous decision.
Terrible data point:
…the one out of eight Americans who don’t wear their seat belts account for nearly two-thirds of all the fatal accidents…
Reagan was unquestionably a horrible human being.
And on that note, here’s the American version of the Canadian video above.