Besides the huge differences in efficacy and necessity, there’s a hundred more reasons why comparing covid masks with automotive seatbelts is fraudulent. But there are indeed some real resemblances, all obscured: they’re both anti-constitutional or illegal in most countries, they are a scam and a revenue generator for the state, car-crashes sometimes went up after seatbelts becoming mandatory and so forth.
One of the best introductions to the topic was published in 2002 by the Foundation for Economic Education, under the title “The Fraud of Seat-Belt Laws “:
Seat-Belt Laws Infringe a Person’s Constitutional Rights
On the promise of reducing highway fatalities and auto insurance rates, seat-belt laws began to pass in state legislatures throughout the United States beginning in 1985.
While such laws had been proposed before 1985, they were rejected by most state legislators since they knew the vast majority of the people opposed them. “The Gallup Opinion Index,” report no. 146, October 1977, stated: “In the latest survey, a huge majority, 78 percent, opposes a law that would fine a person $25 for failure to use a seat belt. This represents an increase of resistance since 1973 to such a law. At that time 71 percent opposed a seat belt use law.” “The Gallup Report” (formerly “The Gallup Opinion Index”), no. 205, October 1982, report showed that a still-high 75 percent queried in June of that year opposed such a law.
Given the massive, obvious opposition to seat-belt laws, why did state legislators suddenly change their minds and begin to pass them in 1985? Simple–money and federal blackmail. According to the Associated Press, Brian O’Neill, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said, “People have been talking about seatbelt laws and there have been attempts to pass them for well over 10 years. It’s been a snowball effect, once the money poured in.”1
That sudden flow of money began in 1984, when then-Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole promised to rescind the rule that required automakers to install passive restraints by 1990 if states representing two-thirds of the U.S. population passed seat-belt laws by April 1, 1989.2 Passive restraints included air bags, which automakers bitterly opposed because, they claimed, the high expense to develop and install them would raise the price of autos way beyond what the average auto buyer would pay. Dole’s promise amounted to an invitation to the automakers to use their financial resources to lobby states for seat-belt laws, something the Department of Transportation (DOT) was forbidden to do by law, in exchange for the government’s not forcing them to install air bags. In effect, the DOT surreptitiously used the financial resources of the private sector to further the political agenda of the federal government through blackmail.
In response to Dole’s promise, the automakers created the lobby Traffic Safety Now (TSN) and began spending millions of dollars to pass seat-belt laws. That caught the attention of state legislators, and suddenly the “will of the people,” void of financial backing, gave way to the “will of the seat-belt law lobbyists,” who had millions of dollars to spend.
Besides the millions of dollars spent by TSN, the federal government added millions more by, for example, giving grants to states for achieving a certain percentage of seat-belt use and to pay the police to enforce the seat-belt law.3 And with increased seat-belt law enforcement, ticket income increased, another source of easy revenue for the state.
While TSN championed passage of seat-belt laws under the banner of reducing highway fatalities and auto insurance rates, no mention was made that the real purpose was to avoid installation of air bags.
As of 1992, TSN had spent $93 million to buy passage of seat-belt laws in almost all states.4 Popular opposition to the laws sometimes made passage difficult. In most states the only way the law could be passed was to make enforcement secondary; that is, the police could not stop a motorist for not using a seat belt unless the officer witnessed another traffic violation. Some laws applied only to front-seat occupants. Exemptions were also added to help reduce opposition. In three states, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Wyoming, the laws were passed without any penalty.
Once seat-belt laws were passed in any form, supporters returned each legislative session to lobby for amendments, such as including all occupants, increasing fines, eliminating exemptions, and changing to primary enforcement, so that the police could stop a motorist merely under suspicion of not using a seat belt.
Such action by seat-belt law supporters shows the insidious nature of such laws, and supporters continue to lobby for stricter enforcement and heavier penalties. Even the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001 added its own flavor of tyranny by ruling it was legal for a Texas police officer to arrest, handcuff, and jail a woman, and impound her car, for not buckling up herself and her children.5 Our nation, founded on freedom, certainly has come a long way from Patrick Henry’s cry, “Give me liberty or give me death,” to “Click it or ticket.”
After the automakers did the DOT’s bidding, the government went back on its word and mandated installation of air bags anyway. Also, the very law the automakers worked for, supposedly to save people’s lives, turned on them. While using seat belts saves some lives, doing so can injure and kill others. That got the attention of lawyers. Moreover, some seat-belt systems were defective.6 As a result, since 1985 the automakers have faced hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in hundreds of lawsuits.
Loss of Freedom
While the hundreds of millions of dollars spent in support of seat-belt laws has been a horrendous financial burden to society, the greatest cost is really not money. It’s the loss of freedom. Seat-belt laws infringe a person’s rights as guaranteed in the Fourth, Fifth, and the Ninth Amendments, and the civil rights section of the Fourteenth Amendment. Such laws are an unwarranted intrusion by government into the personal lives of citizens; they deny through prior restraint the right to determine one’s own individual personal health-care standard.
While seat-belt use might save some people in certain kinds of traffic accidents, there is ample evidence that in other kinds, people have been more seriously injured and even killed only because they used seat belts. Some people have been saved from death in certain kinds of accidents only because a seat belt was not used. In those cases, the malicious nature of seat-belt laws is further revealed: such persons are subject to fines for not dying in the accident while using a so-called safety device arbitrarily chosen by politicians.
The state has no authority to subject people to death and injury in certain kinds of traffic accidents just because it hopes others will be saved in other kinds of accidents merely by chance. The state has no authority to take chances with a person’s body, the ultimate private property.
As for the promise that seat-belt laws would reduce auto insurance rates, there is no record of any insurance company ever reducing its rates because a seat-belt law was passed. A study released in August 1988 by the Highway Loss Data Institute compared auto-accident injury claims before and after the enactment of seat-belt laws in eight states and could find no clear-cut evidence that belt-use laws reduced the number of injuries. “These results are disappointing,” the report added.7
Seat-belt laws have also failed to reduce highway fatalities in the numbers promised by supporters to get such laws passed.8 According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 51,093 highway fatalities in 1979.9 Five years later, 1984, the year before seat-belt laws began to pass, there were 44,257 fatalities. That is a net decrease of 6,836 deaths in five years, which represents a 13.4 percent decline with no seat-belt laws and only voluntary seat-belt use. In 1999, there were 41,611 fatalities. That is a net decrease of 2,646 deaths, a 6 percent decrease over 15 years of rigid seat-belt law enforcement, with some states claiming 80 percent seat-belt use. If the passage of seat-belt laws did anything, it slowed the downward trend in highway fatalities started years before the passage of such laws.
Right to Refuse
Besides such facts, a person has the right to refuse any health-care recommendation. No nonpsychiatric doctor would dare attempt to force a person to use a medical device or take a drug or have surgery or other medical treatment without full consent. Yet politicians force motorists to use a health-care device, a seat belt, against their will under threat of punishment that could include jail.
The hundreds of millions of dollars spent in support of seat-belt laws have been wasted. Not one penny of that money has ever prevented even a single traffic accident, the real cause of highway fatalities. We don’t need millions of dollars for stricter seat-belt law enforcement. Instead, we need more responsibly educated drivers, safer vehicles, and better roads to prevent traffic accidents.
Individual freedom is the very foundation of our country. The American people should not accept legislators who pass laws that take liberty away while claiming to do good. History has shown this to be the easy road to power for tyrants.
There is certainly nothing wrong with voluntary seat-belt use; however, there is a great deal wrong with all seat-belt laws. As Benjamin Franklin said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – William Holdorf is a writer in Chicago.
The Seatbelt Mentality
This above is the title of an article published in Rense by a race car driver and a former driver/pilot instructor – J. B. Campbell. Read it entirely because it’s written with talent:
“Apparently, most Americans have it. Most Americans ought to wear their seatbelts because A), they’re willing to be told what to do by their employees and B), they don’t know how to drive. Of course, if I’m a passenger and the driver makes me nervous, I’ll buckle up to protect myself. But that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is you need to learn how to drive safely and defensively, and cops using “safety” as an excuse to arrest you.
We had a tragedy here recently. A seventeen-year-old acquaintance of my son was a passenger in a car driven by another kid the same age. The driver lost control in a corner and the passenger was ejected and killed. “Oh, he should have been wearing his seatbelt!” Yes, because he was being driven by someone who had no training, who had no idea how to go around a corner a little too fast. Which thing was responsible for his death, no seatbelt or no driver training? The reason the kid wasn’t properly trained was because Big Brother doesn’t want us properly trained. The Establishment (insurance companies, banks, government) has no interest in real safety only in using the word Safety as a weapon to keep us under control.
I just got my second seatbelt ticket in a couple of weeks. I’ll fight it in court and will probably win using court rules and technicalities, or maybe because the cop won’t show for a seatbelt ticket. But then, this cop was pretty lame, so he might show up. I win virtually all my court fights here in California, using their own rules of conduct, which they hate to have to obey. If we all did that, the whole traffic ticket revenue scam would dry up because it wouldn’t be profitable. The traffic ticket scam, when there’s no property damage or injury and no victim, is a form of extortion, and the California Highway Patrol is in the business of extortion. These guys are a combination of terrorists and tax collectors, cruising around in hot rods with paint schemes psychologically designed to cause fear, scheming on ways to cheat you out of your cash.
Seatbelts are designed for people who can’t drive. I don’t mean you don’t know how to parallel park. I mean, almost no people know how to avoid an accident no matter what gets thrown at you. Buckling up is an indicator of inability to be in total control of your vehicle. When you click that belt, your brain is un-clicking. Clicking that belt puts you in a slightly helpless state of mind, which is actually preparing you for a crash. Clicking that belt is a signal to yourself that some things are just beyond your control and well, if the worst should happen, at least you won’t be going over the dashboard and through the windshield. As far as I’m concerned, clicking your seatbelt is a sign of lack of responsibility. Here’s why: I used to teach people how to drive. I mean, really drive. I had a thing called “The School of Slide Control.” It was part of the University of Nevada’s extension program, and they gave me some acreage outside of Reno. I had a big asphalt skidpan with pop-up lawn sprinklers and a very slippery seal coat on top. I taught would-be racing drivers, cops, normal people, old ladies, kids and even some curious California Highway Patrol instructors how to slide cars and not slide cars. I used VWs, Corvairs and BMWs.
To me, there’s no excuse for an accident. I accept full responsibility, no matter what. I don’t care how bad or ornery the other driver is, he’s not going to hit me, unless I’m parked and can’t get out of his way. But that’s not exactly seatbelt country, sitting there parked. If my car’s moving, and he hits me, I’ll count it as my fault. So far, since 1958, it hasn’t happened.
A lot of guys can slide cars at low speeds. They usually don’t know what they’re doing and probably can’t do the same maneuver twice, exactly the same way. I can drive sideways at 120, 130, 140 mph. The faster, the better. There are no mysteries for me in the sliding of cars, or the control of slides. One-eighties, three-sixties, parking it backwards I can teach you anything. I learned the hard way, driving single-seater formula racing cars in Australia and England back in the mid 1960s, starting at age 18. Lotus, Cooper, Brabham, etc. In 1970, Road & Track magazine, Popular Mechanics and others pronounced my school and my teaching method the best they’d seen. Mercedes-Benz introduced their new 1970 V-8 engines to the USA at my driving school, represented by the legendary chief racing engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut. This was an extraordinary honor for me. Eng. Uhlenhaut brought eight new sedans with the big engines. All the automotive magazine guys were there and we raced the cars around my skidpan. Then, Herr Uhlenhaut, age 64, got in one and proceeded to blow our doors off. Even my doors, on my own skidpan. (I have since learned that, in test sessions for the 1954 MB Grand Prix racer, he posted times that were faster than those of the even more legendary works driver, Juan Manuel Fangio, the ultimate Formula 1 master of the 1950s.) Then we went out onto the Nevada highways for a high-speed run, since there was no speed limit in those days. Uhlenhaut’s blowing my doors off aside, I’m still a pretty fair speaker on the subject.
People today are shocked to learn that road racers, the Grand Prix drivers, from the early days right up to the 1970s, did not wear seatbelts. I never did in Australia or England. The American drivers always did, at least since the 1940s. And those seatbelts got a lot of American drivers killed. The deadliest aspect of racing, everywhere, was fire and when those screaming gas cans crashed or rolled, they invariably caught fire. The stunned driver was trapped and either couldn’t extricate himself from his seatbelt or rescuers couldn’t unhook him and drag him out of the flames and he fried. The road racers preferred an easy exit to being strapped in and barbecued, with the exception of Phil Hill, who tied himself in so he wouldn’t have to hang onto the wheel.
But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being told what to do by a bunch of stinking cops and bureaucrats who think they own the place, and this “it’s for your own good” excuse for stopping you and checking you for warrants and contraband. But if seatbelts are so wonderful, and if our children’s lives are so precious (which they are), then why aren’t children required to wear seatbelts on school buses? Do school buses never crash? “If it can save ONE child’s life?” Why aren’t you forced to click it on Greyhounds, which are definitely known to crash? Because safety isn’t the point of the seatbelt law. The point of the seatbelt law is mind control and separating us from our money. In other words, it’s about power.
Now, I will concede that wearing seatbelts in racing cars today, now that crash fires are not so common, is a good idea, because you’re really being slammed around by some very high G-forces when cornering and breaking. But motor racing has almost nothing in common with normal driving, believe me. The average driver cannot imagine the brutal acceleration, cornering and impossible breaking that’s done when racing. The tires are at the very limits of contact with the road, and often just beyond, and it is quite common to see racing drivers, even the best, lose control and spin out. But racing is a blood sport in which drivers frequently lose their lives it is that extreme. The speeds at Indianapolis, etc., are insane, for example. My pilot friends insist that seatbelts are good because, by God, if they’re good enough for airplanes then they’re good for cars. People in airplanes are subject to some very unpredictable forces but even in airplanes you’re usually free to move around the cabin until the pilot asks you to buckle up. Then he tells you you’re free to move around once more. And I’ve found that pilots live in their own special world and generally, however brilliant they are in the sky, aren’t as good at controlling cars. They spend their time breaking the Law of Gravity and they’re good at it, but when it comes to breaking Newton’s Laws of Motion, most of them don’t get it. Again, if you don’t know how to drive and you like being told what to do by people you pay, then by all means, buckle up. Seatbelts represent to me the Police State.
Then there’s the helmet law, here in the Golden Police State. Did you know that in California, it’s against the law to wear a helmet while driving your car? Why do you suppose that is? Because helmets limit your vision and hearing! Don’t you think helmets have the same effect on motorcycle riders? All it’s about is telling us what to do, getting us in the habit of obeying. A heavy, high-priced full-face helmet may prevent a cracked skull but it can also snap your neck, which is not designed to support all that weight. Which do you think is more survivable? I survived a compound skull fracture (horses), but the great Jimmy Clark couldn’t survive his broken neck at Hockenheim. How about those ultimate safety devices the airbags? How many children have been killed by these explosive safety devices? Have you seen the warnings of death and destruction on all new cars from airbags? Children under 12 can’t ride up front because they might be killed by airbags. Same with small adults. What happened to the “If it saves ONE child’s life”?
It’s not about safety, it’s about power over our minds, and it’s about taking away our responsibility for our own safety, same as the TSA (Thugs Standing Around) in the airports. Have these abusive, armed morons prevented one hijacking or “terrorist event?” They can’t even identify bombs and guns when their instructors stick them in luggage as tests.
Now, I’m all for automotive safety. I devoted my life to it for years. I’m also big on gun safety and have been since around 1954. But safety with machinery cannot be mandated by law, with gimmicks. Safety comes from good training and the right state of mind. The way to keep from crashing a car and needing a seatbelt is by learning car control and accepting total responsibility for preventing accidents. If that’s too much trouble, then buckle up and get ready to crash. The equivalent in the gun world is another gimmick called a “trigger lock.” Anyone who would put a trigger lock on a gun shouldn’t even have a gun. What, are we afraid the thing is going to go off by itself if that trigger is left exposed? Oh I forgot: the children. Trigger locks might save ONE child’s life. But my old man handed me a snub-nose .38 when I was nine years old, only after I’d shown him since age seven that he couldn’t get in front of any gun in my hands. He had a couple of dozen guns around the house, on the walls, in cabinets, on his nightstand. None of them ever went off by itself. Some of them did go off down in the basement, where he had a shooting range. We shot guns down there quite a bit, and we had to make them go off. No, you say, I’m not afraid it’s going to go off by itself I’m forced to do it by law where I live. Really? So what? Imagine needing your gun at three in the morning or any time at all and right now you, with shaking hands, have to locate the key to unlock the stupid thing, in the dark, so you can wrap your finger around the trigger and save your life. What’s more important obeying the law or defending yourself? You decide. It’s all part of the same program to turn us into Canadians. I guess they figure if we obey them on the seatbelt scam we probably won’t be carrying guns in our cars, to defend ourselves from hijackers, muggers, cops and other low-lifes. And many of us do keep our guns at home but, because it’s The Law, don’t carry them with us where we also need them in our cars and on our persons. But as a friend once said, if your life’s worth protecting part of the time, it’s worth protecting all the time. Regarding kids, just follow Stephen Stills’ advice: teach your children.
So, we all need to learn how to drive defensively, being ready for any eventuality, and get out of this mind-control and behavior modification syndrome of automatically reaching back and pulling your safety-blanket over your shoulder. I want to make the case for achieving total control of your vehicle and accepting full responsibility in your mind for preventing accidents. No excuses, such as, Oh, this drunk pulled right out in front of me! Tough. Deal with it and don’t hit him, no matter what. But I just couldn’t stop in time! Really? Then steer around him, or fling the car sideways and catch the slide but don’t hit him! To be able to do this requires a clear mind, constant checking around you and always looking for an escape from the worst thing that could happen where you are right now. Don’t just cruise along, daydreaming.
Think about the worst case scenario all the time. What if that big rig coming at you on the two-lane at 75 mph has a blowout and veers right into you? Are you thinking of a place to go to keep him from hitting you? You should be. How fast could you change direction from straight ahead to going suddenly right (or left) to avoid a wreck and stay in control? How long does it take you to get your foot on the brake? What if you’re going through a fast turn on a cold day and right in the middle of the turn is a patch of ice? Could you deal with it and not spin off the road, maybe sideways into a tree or over an embankment? Probably not, but I used to teach people exactly how to deal with it, in eight hours of training.
The insurance companies, the government and the cops want you to deal with it by buckling up. All that does is maybe help you survive the crash. But your real job is to prevent the crash, and nobody in the above groups has any plan for doing that. This is America and Americans aren’t supposed to be able to drive, or think or defend themselves. They’re supposed to shut up and do as they’re told, by armed parasites that live on our tax money.”
“What kills you matters — not numbers.”
A piece from Time Magazine 2006 titled “The Hidden Danger of Seat Belts” also shows how narrow-minded is the seatbelt mentality and how many factors came into play but are not accounted for by proponents of state regulations for everything, from thinking to breathing.
“If there’s one thing we know about our risky world, it’s that seat belts save lives, right? And they do, of course. But reality, as usual, is messier and more complicated than that. John Adams, risk expert and emeritus professor of geography at University College London, was an early skeptic of the seat belt safety mantra. Adams first began to look at the numbers more than 25 years ago. What he found was that contrary to conventional wisdom, mandating the use of seat belts in 18 countries resulted in either no change or actually a net increase in road accident deaths.
How can that be? Adams’ interpretation of the data rests on the notion of risk compensation, the idea that individuals tend to adjust their behavior in response to what they perceive as changes in the level of risk. Imagine, explains Adams, a driver negotiating a curve in the road. Let’s make him a young male. He is going to be influenced by his perceptions of both the risks and rewards of driving a car. The considerations could include getting to work or meeting a friend for dinner on time, impressing a companion with his driving skills, bolstering his image of himself as an accomplished driver. They could also include his concern for his own safety and desire to live to a ripe old age, his feelings of responsibility for a toddler with him in a car seat, the cost of banging up his shiny new car or losing his license. Nor will these possible concerns exist in a vacuum. He will be taking into account the weather and the condition of the road, the amount of traffic and the capabilities of the car he is driving. But crucially, says Adams, this driver will also be adjusting his behavior in response to what he perceives are changes in risks. If he is wearing a seat belt and his car has front and side air bags and anti-skid brakes to boot, he may in turn drive a bit more daringly.
The point, stresses Adams, is that drivers who feel safe may actually increase the risk that they pose to other drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and their own passengers (while an average of 80% of drivers buckle up, only 68% of their rear-seat passengers do). And risk compensation is hardly confined to the act of driving a car. Think of a trapeze artist, suggests Adams, or a rock climber, motorcyclist or college kid on a hot date. Add some safety equipment to the equation — a net, rope, helmet or a condom respectively — and the person may try maneuvers that he or she would otherwise consider foolish. In the case of seat belts, instead of a simple, straightforward reduction in deaths, the end result is actually a more complicated redistribution of risk and fatalities. For the sake of argument, offers Adams, imagine how it might affect the behavior of drivers if a sharp stake were mounted in the middle of the steering wheel? Or if the bumper were packed with explosives. Perverse, yes, but it certainly provides a vivid example of how a perception of risk could modify behavior.
In everyday life, risk is a moving target, not a set number as statistics might suggest. In addition to external factors, each individual has his or her own internal comfort level with risk-taking. Some are daring while others are cautious by nature. And still others are fatalists who may believe that a higher power devises mortality schedules that fix a predetermined time when our number is up. Consequently, any single measurement assigned to the risk of driving a car is bound to be only the roughest sort of benchmark. Adams cites as an example the statistical fact that a young man is 100 times more likely to be involved in a severe crash than is a middle-aged woman. Similarly, someone driving at 3:00 a.m. Sunday is more than 100 times more likely to die than someone driving at 10:00 a.m. Sunday. Someone with a personality disorder is 10 times more likely to die. And let’s say he’s also drunk. Tally up all these factors and consider them independently, says Adams, and you could arrive at a statistical prediction that a disturbed, drunken young man driving in the middle of the night is 2.7 million times more likely to be involved in a serious accident than would a sober, middle-aged woman driving to church seven hours later.
The bottom line is that risk doesn’t exist in a vacuum and that there are a host of factors that come into play, including the rewards of risk, whether they are financial, physical or emotional. It is this very human context in which risk exists that is key, says Adams, who titled one of his recent blogs: “What kills you matters — not numbers.” Our reactions to risk very much depend on the degree to which it is voluntary (scuba diving), unavoidable (public transit) or imposed (air quality), the degree to which we feel we are in control (driving) or at the mercy of others (plane travel), and the degree to which the source of possible danger is benign (doctor’s orders), indifferent (nature) or malign (murder and terrorism). We make dozens of risk calculations daily, but you can book odds that most of them are so automatic—or visceral—that we barely notice them.” – By DAVID BJERKLIE Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006
Risk assessment anyone?
Finally, rounding the “what kills you matters” concept, let’s analyse the logic of missing seatbelts in school buses. As the regulated-wanna-be’s show in the video below, the main reason for that lack is the low fatality in buses. Which is a bit higher than Covid’s fatality, much higher than fatality in children, which is officially the closest thing to 0 . So higher risk justifies lack of protection in school buses, while almost no risks justifies mandating masks everywhere, even in your own home.
To be continued?
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