Legal Argument: Technically Speaking, the Law Doesn't Require That the Seat Belt Be Attached to the Car

Paul Weigand of Kansas argued with the court that the state statute requiring people to wear seat belts while riding in a car didn't specifically assert that the seat belt (not pictured) had to be attached to the vehicle in question:

An officer ticketed Paul Weigand during a winter traffic stop after making him get out of his car to prove the belt wasn’t connected to the vehicle. Weigand says he is terrified of becoming trapped in a burning vehicle. Plus, he says the law doesn’t specify that the seat belt has to be attached to his vehicle.

The judge disagreed and levied him a fine and court costs. via Lowering the Bar | Photo (unrelated) via Instructables

I call bullshit. "The Law" absolutely defines a seatbelt. The below is quoted from the California Seat Belt law.

"... a manual safety belt system that meets the performance standards applicable to automatic crash protection devices adopted by the United States Secretary of Transportation pursuant to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208 (49 C.F.R. 571.208) as in effect on January 1, 1985."
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I have the California statutes at my fingertips, but you are correct. I should have dug for the Kansas statute. Here it is:

"8-2503: (a) Except as provided in K.S.A. 8-1344 and 8-1345, and amendments thereto, and in subsection (b) or (c), each front seat occupant of a passenger car manufactured with safety belts in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standard no. 208, who is 18 years of age or older, shall have a safety belt properly fastened about such person's body at all times when the passenger car is in motion."
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No appeal to the legal definition is required here. Ask yourself: is a seatbelt still a seatbelt once it's detached from the car? There's no longer a "seat" that it's "belt"-ing you too. I agree with Edward . . . bullshit!
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UGH! I'll never understand why people don't buckle up.
Damn TV and movies making people paranoid that they'd be trapped in an inferno if they got in to a wreck or something.
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The funny thing is he's proud of it, and he probably went out of his way to get caught.

I would say that this does not meet the definition as outlined in the previous comment since it's not "properly" fashioned, according to any legitimate safety standards.

Just like helmet laws. I know bikers who actually think you're better protected if you get in an accident and you're not wearing a helmet, because if you hit something helmet-on, you could somehow injure your spine. They don't bother to consider if you hit something head-on without a helmet, you're having a closed casket for sure.
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The NYT had an article about bicycle riders where cars travel several inches closer to riders who are wearing helmets. The theory being that drivers see you wearing a helmet and it makes them feel safer driving next to you. So while you might be worse off during a crash without one, wearing a helmet might make you more likely to crash. I'd bet a similar phenomena exist with motorbike riders.

Back when I had a bike I never wore a helmet, I t-boned a car, went over the roof and performed an awesome tuck and roll. No injuries other than a little road rash on my shoulder. Doesn't mean you shouldn't wear one but helmets also aren't cure-alls.
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I never drive without wearing a seatbelt, but anyone who wishes to take that risk ought to be able to.

And, actually, all one needs to avoid having to wear one is a vehicle manufactured prior to what, 1978? Something like that.
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The problem with that, nutbastard, is that those same people could make a choice not to buckle up their children or put their toddlers in car seats.

They could choose to drive without insurance. For that matter, why should we force people to get a license to drive?

People don't choose to wear seatbelts for the stupidest and obscurest of reasons. You're far more likely to be thrown from a car without your seatbelt than to be trapped underwater and not able to get your seatbelt off in time.
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#15- off by 10 years. All vehicles manufactured after 1/1/68 were required to have seatbelts. Lap belts for all passengers and shoulder belts for the 2 front passengers next to the doors. I remember because my '68 GTO didn't have the shoulder harnesses and it was the last model year when it wasn't required.
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