On Tuesday, February 6 the House Transportation committee will host a public hearing on whether New Hampshire should require adults to wear seat belts.
Right now New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. that does not require adults to wearing a seat belt.
Time to require seat belts?
The bill up for a hearing, HB 1259, would apply to both passengers and drivers, of any age. A first offense would carry a fine of $25. Subsequent offenses would carry a fine of $50.
The bill includes exceptions for school buses, taxis, vehicles making frequent stops, antique vehicles, and any driver or passenger with a medical condition which prevents restraint.
Supporters argue that seat belts, quite simply, save lives. So far as seat belts also prevent more serious injuries, they also decrease medical expenses, which can lead to higher insurance rates for everyone.
A matter of individual liberty
Opponents of a mandatory seat belt law often argue that it is a form of “nanny state” legislation, and adults should be allowed to decide whether or not to wear a seat belt.
Other opponents argue that law enforcement may abuse seat belt laws to unjustly profile and pull over drivers.
When we asked our community about mandatory seat belts last year, most opposed the idea. Click here to read a summary of the discussion.
Do you support a mandatory seat belt law in the Granite State? Let us know in the comments below.