A Brief History
On September 25, 1961, the State of Wisconsin first required any new automobile made starting in 1962 to be equipped with front seat safety belts. While Nash Motors first offered this commonsense device in 1949, the rest of the United States was not required to have seat belt equipped cars until 1962, with shoulder belts required as of 1968.
Despite all cars having seat belts, drivers and passengers rarely wore them, even when annoying buzzers were included to “remind” people to wear the hated belts. New York paved the way with a law requiring seat belt use in a moving vehicle on a public road, and all other states eventually followed, except one!
New Hampshire is the lone holdout state that does not require all drivers and passengers to wear seat belts, with the exception of people under the age of 18. Do you believe seat belt use should be required by law?
Question for students (and subscribers): Should the government force use of safety devices such as seat belts, motorcycle and bicycle helmets and the like? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Nelson, CA and don Michael Smith. We Didn’t Wear Seat Belts: Growing Up Free-Range Kids in the 60’s and 70’s. Fibonacci Effect, 2021
The featured image in this article, a map of seat belt use by type of law, US, 2008, is a work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, taken or made as part of an employee’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.
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