Should The Law Require Automobile Drivers And Passengers To Use Safety Belts?


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Automobile seat belts have existed for many decades. Statistics from the National Safety Council show that wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by over 50 percent (2014). Between 2004 and 2008, over 75,000 lives were saved due to use of seat belts (National Safety Council, 2014). ‘The Click It or Ticket’ Campaign has however attracted criticism. This paper argues that while the seat belt law is useful to individual drivers and passengers, the choice of whether or not to use it should be left to individual road users.

Research has shown that use of seat belts reduces the likelihood of a driver and passenger suffering severe injuries or dying during an accident (National Safety Council, 2014). However, no one appreciates the state or nation telling them what to do in their vehicle or house. It interferes with their right to enjoy their property. In fact, seat belts do not prevent a crash (FIA FAS, 2009). Instead, they can indirectly increase chances of dying if user is trapped in the car during an accident involving fire, submersion, or whiplash.

Furthermore, the responsibility of the police on the road only comes in where a driver puts other road users at risk through such actions as speeding, driving while drunk, or driving aggressively. However law abiding citizens who are no danger to other road users should not be arrested or ticketed merely for failing to wear a seat belt. It is important to point out that most road users are law abiding citizens who will often help police officers to tackle crime on and off the road.


The nation and various states should not compel drivers and passengers to wear safety belts. This paper has pointed out that the driver endangers no one on the road by not wearing the seat belt, seat belts can trap the user during an accident, and seat belt laws infringe on one’s right to enjoy using their property.

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FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society (FIA FAS) (2009).Seat-belts and child restraints: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners. Retrieved on from

National Safety Council (2014). Seat Belts. Retrieved from