Should drivers be required

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2001

to wear seatbelts?


Staff Writer

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With the "Click It or Ticket" seatbelt inspection campaign in full swing throughout the state, many Pike County residents are divided over whether or not wearing seatbelts should be a law or a choice.

The "Click it or Ticket" Campaign is a statewide initiative launched by Gov. Don Siegelman and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, in which city and county law enforcement agencies will set up road blocks to check if drivers are wearing their seatbelts. Under current state laws drivers can be fined for not buckling up.

"I think it’s a good thing," Lucille K. Singleton of Brundidge said.

Singleton said she feels seatbelts are an important part of road safety.

"I just believe that when you get into a wreck and the car starts spinning around, your chances for survival are going to be better if you’re wearing a seat belt," Singleton said.

Other people feel it should be each person’s choice to wear a seatbelt or not.

"I think that people should have the right to choose whether or not to wear a seatbelt," Kenny Garret of Troy said. "People shouldn’t be punished for something that is their choice and no one else’s," Garret said.

Michelle Garret of Troy, also agrees.

"Its your choice whether you want to save your life or not," she said

"It’s a law and people should obey the law," Jean Snoddy of Troy said. "It’s obvious that seatbelts save lives and we should use what’s on our vehicles," Snoddy said.

Jacob Cox of Red Level said he can see both sides of the argument.

"In some cases wearing a seatbelt can make a difference and sometimes it doesn’t, so it’s debatable whether or not it should be enforced, " Cox said.

"But it is a law though, so people should follow it. Sometimes you don’t want to follow the speed limit but you have to do it or you’ll get a ticket. This is the same way," Cox said.

The Alabama Department of Public Safety has already begun setting up road blocks in Pike County, and the Pike County Sheriff’s Department and the Brundidge Police Department have plans to set up road blocks in the coming days. The Troy Police Department is not participating in this particular campaign, but have received a grant for Operation Lifesaver, another seatbelt awareness campaign, which could begin as early as this weekend.