If you could do something that didn't cause you any pain, would save you $50 and reduce your chances of dying, wouldn't you do it? Of course you would.
Now, if we told you that meant wearing your seat belt, does that change your mind? It must change some folks' mind, because in 2004, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that, of all drivers and passengers killed or severely injured in traffic accidents, 64 percent were not wearing their seat belts. In Ohio, that figure is an even more staggering 71 percent.
With that in mind, we applaud the state Highway Patrol for its new emphasis on seat belt safety. While troopers cannot pull someone over for failing to wear a seat belt, they can ticket them if stopped for another violation, such as speeding.
And, if you're caught with your belt off, don't expect to catch a break.
"We've advised our officers not to give warnings for seat belts. If the officer sees the driver not wearing a seat belt, the driver can expect a citation," said Lt. Jim Bryan, the Norwalk post commander.
Understandably, no one ever likes to be stopped by a trooper. Everyone always thinks authorities should be focused on some other criminal doing something much worse than speeding. But the fact remains that increasing public safety and preventing deaths are a big part of why police exist. And wearing a seat belt clearly decreases the risk of injury and death from a car accident.
If you won't do it for your own safety, do it to save yourself 50 bucks.