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A friend called me the other day and said he had gotten a seat belt ticket and wanted to fight it. Since I make it a habit to fight tickets whenever the opportunity arises and have beaten 6 of them successfuly, I always encourage everyone to do the same.
We're all familiar with the obscene 'Click it or Ticket' campaign, with some states such as Texas charging up to $200 for seat belt violations. But I recently came across some interesting stats. In the last 5 years, according to
a federal study funded by the government, there has been over a 10% DECREASE in traffic deaths among those who were not wearing their seatbelts. Whereas, among those who were wearing their seatbelts in compliance with ''the law'', deaths have RISEN. This should not bode well for the perceived validity of the 'click it or ticket' program.
Table 1: Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities 16 and Older in Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes by Year and Restraint Use
Restrained (wearing seat belt)
2002 deaths: 12,719
2006 deaths: 12,874
Unrestrained (not wearing seat belt)
2002 deaths: 18,269
2006 deaths: 16,037
Source: NCSA, FARS 2002-2005 (Final), 2006
Government propaganda websites reported:"The annual Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign, launched today by NHTSA Administrator Nicole R. Nason, will focus on nighttime belt use when the odds of being killed in a motor vehicle crash are three times greater.
The campaign is supported by a $7.5 million national and state advertising campaign. Ads produced by NHTSA in English and Spanish will run across a wide range of highly targeted media, including print, radio, and television."
... "Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing," said Nason. "But the cost for not wearing one certainly will. So, don't risk it with a ticket or worse, your life. Please remember to buckle up day and night."
Seat belt use nationwide was 82 percent in 2007, as measured by NHTSA's National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS).
Let's take a quick look at this CLICK IT OR TICKET program, and the woman currently at it's helm. But first, some propaganda posters demonizing seat belt criminals:
(View the wide array of PR material meant to intimidate motorists into compliance.)
Who is the woman obsessed with nanny-state laws and agressive seat belt fines?
'Nicole R. Nason of Virginia was nominated January 17, 2006, by President George W. Bush to be Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the Department of Transportation'.[Sourcewatch].
Born Nicole Robilotto on August 13, 1970 in Bayshore NY, Nason is the daughter of a former traffic cop and chief of police. She has worked for Norman Minetta and served as counsel for Porter Goss.
FEC records show she contributed $1000 to George Bush in the 2004 presidential primary. Nason caused controversy soon after she took office by barring all employees from speaking to the press on record.
A NYTimes blogger reported:
"Ms. Nason felt it was necessary for N.H.T.S.A. to have a "central spokesperson" and "we were finding a lot of stuff did not need to be on the record," David Kelly, her chief of staff, told me. He also insisted, after our telephone conversation, that he did not want to be quoted and had intended to speak only on background. (My notes show no such request.) [What's off the record at NHTSA? Almost everything]
In response to the same policy, Auto columnist Ray Wert wrote 'NHTSA'S Press Nazi', which he ended with "Nikki's number is (202) 366-1836. Remember to call early, and call often".
The press reported that Nason did not know how to properly strap in her daughters car seat in 'Head of NHTSA Installed Child Seats Wrong'. Here is a
5 minute video profile of her at her home, from CBS News. http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:oNnUn9XqKLAJ:www.nhtsa.comwww.stopimpaireddriving.org/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/Communication%2520%26%2520Consumer%2520Information/NHTSA%2520Now!/Associated%2520Files/NNow12_3.pdf+Nicole+Robilotto&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us">She freely discusses her family, interests, and favorite book and movies.
On November 15, 2006, Nason addressed the United Nations in Geneva Switzerland and called for 'global harmonization':
"I grew up in New York, the daughter of a motorcycle policeman. My father was the head of the Highway patrol and he later became the chief of police. I can vividly remember when he was seriously injured on his motorcycle, and I know a helmet saved his life. Being the daughter of a highway patrol officer gave me a unique perspective and taught me valuable lessons that I now teach my own two daughters.
... since we have a global safety problem associated with a global industry, we need aglobal solution. This body, WP.29, has stepped forward to take on this global role. I congratulate you for your contributions in helping to transform WP.29 into a true World Forum for the Harmonization of vehicle Regulations.
..We must continue this momentum toward effective global harmonization."
She went on to call for electronic stability control (ESC) by in all light vehicles in the U.S. by 2012. [Article and Transcript here].
Nicole's father, Philip Robilotto, was chief of police for Suffolk County, NY. After an
$8 million dollar civil rights lawsuit was filed against his department, Phil Robilotto defended his cops, saying "this case will not sustain in a court of law. I have every confidence in the Homicide Squad. These are world class investigators." Several women filed claims of
sexual abuse by officers in the same department in 2001. Phil was a tough advocate of cracking down on cell phone users
The seat belt law has been challenged unsuccessfully in California. In People v. Coyle (1988) 204 Cal. App. 3d Supp. 1, 4 [251 Cal. Rptr. 80], the court held that California's mandatory seat belt law serves the purpose of "saving lives and promoting the welfare of its citizens."
California's Mandatory Seat Belt Law states, in part:
27315. (a) The Legislature finds that a mandatory seatbelt law will contribute to reducing highway deaths and injuries by encouraging greater usage of existing manual seatbelts, that automatic crash protection systems which require no action by vehicle occupants offer the best hope of reducing deaths and injuries, and that encouraging the use of manual safety belts is only a partial remedy for addressing this major cause of death and injury.
This does not mean you can't beat a ticket though. I encourage everyone to use the court process, subpeana evidence, and demand a trial for every ticket you get. Much of it you can do through the mail without having to spend any time in person. A great website is HelpIGotaTicket.com">. Some others are below. If everyone resisted these petty tyrannies, their house of cards would crumble like it deserves to.
http://highwayrobbery.net">HighwayRobbery.net- focusing on red light cameras
click here WEALTH OF INFO
Religious exemption defense to seat belt tickets filed in court:
The fraud of seat belt laws
http://notrafficcameras.info">NoTrafficCameras.Info Oppose Red Light Cameras in your city