Another Argument for Wearing Seat Belts

The in basket: Mick Danielson responded to the Dec. 26 Road Warrior column that said adults in a car who don’t have their seat belts buckled would get the $101 ticket, not the driver, if the car is stopped by an officer.

“You and the State Patrol failed to mention that a person not wearing a seat belt becomes a moving object when involved in any kind of accident,” Mick wrote. “The unbuckled person can cause serious injuries or even death to other people in the car. For this reason, any driver or passenger can feel justified asking everyone to buckle up.”


The in basket: Mick Danielson responded to the Dec. 26 Road Warrior column that said adults in a car who don’t have their seat belts buckled would get the $101 ticket, not the driver, if the car is stopped by an officer.

“You and the State Patrol failed to mention that a person not wearing a seat belt becomes a moving object when involved in any kind of accident,” Mick wrote. “The unbuckled person can cause serious injuries or even death to other people in the car. For this reason, any driver or passenger can feel justified asking everyone to buckle up.”

The out basket: That’s a rationale for seat-belt use that hadn’t occurred to me.

I checked with Jonna VanDyk at the state Traffic Safety Commission, who said, “That is a great rationale for drivers to use to promote seat-belt use in their vehicles.”

Jonna offered an anecdote that tells the tale bluntly.

One New Year’s Eve about five years ago, a Bellevue police officer in his private car was in a crash on the way back from a party.

An off-duty state trooper was buckled into the front seat beside the driver; the trooper’s buddy was in the back seat, not wearing his belt. The friend was killed, Jonna said, when thrown forward against the trooper, who was hurt badly enough that he couldn’t work any longer.

Send questions for the Road Warrior to reporter Travis Baker at tbaker@kitsapsun.com.

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