You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  That's a popular mom phrase that leads to the question- why are we catching flies?  Before I drift too far off in the land of not applicable metaphors, my point is- DON'T TELL A NORTH DAKOTAN WHAT TO DO!

Back in 1989, the ND legislature voted mandatory seat belt usage into law.   It was defeated by the public in a referendum election.

AP News also reports that in 1993 lawmakers were up to it again.  They voted another bill into law that then survived another statewide vote and then narrowly defeated an initiated petition circulated for it's repeal.  That scrappy little law exists to this day.

We've have 28 years of "I guess this isn't sooooo bad".

That could change this year with the bipartisan introduction of Senate Bill SB 2121.  Under the new bill, simply not wearing a seat belt will be a primary offense.  It gives officers justification to pull you over if they witness you or any passenger in your vehicle, not wearing a seat belt.  Looks as if it would be a standard $50 fine. The proposed bill is intended to get more people wearing seat belts.

Which is wise...

Here's some stats from a piece I published in early December...

In 2020, Roughly 63% of motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota were not wearing seat belts.

That's way more than than half!  Whats my point?  Well NDDOT cites this little bit of information in 2020

The observations were conducted at 320 sites across 16 counties. Based on the sampling methodology weighting procedures, the final estimate for the statewide seat belt use was 83.7%

So roughly 16 percent of North Dakota drivers don't buckle up.  Those 16 percent of unbuckled drivers make up 63 percent of fatalities! That's really over performing while bouncing in a ditch.

Numbers maybe telling the truth but that doesn't mean you get away with...


Good luck SB 2121

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