USA Today has an article on how states are increasingly requiring rear-seat passengers to wear seat belts. This is the classic “brother’s keeper” v. individual rights issue. I fall into the former category on this subject as most Maryland accident lawyers do because they have seen what a projectile a person can become when launched from a back seat because they were not wearing their rear safety belt.
But what I found interesting about the USA today graph is the extent to which states don’t fall in line on this issue as you think they would. When I think of the West with a capital “W” I think of rugged individualism and a desire for self-determinism on these kinds of things. But the opposite is true: the wild west seems to almost uniformly accept the idea that rear seat belts should be law. Why is this? I have no idea.
What I do know is that Maryland law needs to be changed to require all rear-seat passengers to wear seat belts. At the risk of having every naysayer scream “slippery slope,” please remember we are requiring it for front-seat passengers, we require helmets on motorcycles, and this law would make just as much sense.
- Walter Olson disagrees (I’m assuming, based on the title)
- Few backseat passengers are wearing seat belts