There’s no longer a question of whether or not seatbelts save lives. They do. Almost every state in the nation has some form of seatbelt or restraint law; even if those laws only include front seat passengers and minor children.
A member of the state of Arizona’s House of Representatives, Republican, Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff sponsored a bill, HB 2460 to require all occupants of a vehicle to be restrained. The Arizona Capitol Times reports that a state Senate panel called the proposed legislation intrusive. Thorpe argued that the current law covers only front seat occupants to wear seatbelts as being insufficient.
Thorpe was only able to get support from one member of the panel, and the proposed legislation was killed. The panel insisted Arizona already had a seatbelt law.
At issue for the panel was the ability of law enforcement officers to pull over motorists and ticket them if anyone in the vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt. Democratic Senator, Rebecca Rios of Phoenix argued that Thorpe’s proposal made no sense when other state laws actually allow children to ride in the open bed of a pickup truck where there are no restraints or seatbelts available or even required.
Even though the number of people who are killed each year from being thrown from a bed of a pickup truck is far less than other accidents where the analogy was not enough to convince Thorpe to give up on his push for stricter seatbelt laws in Arizona. Drawing from his years as a firefighter with firsthand experience of seeing what happens to those who don’t wear seatbelts. If people are ejected from a vehicle during a crash, Thorpe said, “…they usually die upon impact.”
Thorpe indicated that he is not ready to give up the fight on the issue.