Seat­belt reg­u­la­tion has a prece­dent

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

I AP­PLAUD your cam­paign to in­crease seat­belt use. I have been fined twice when I for­got to buckle up.

I have to say, how­ever, that I dis­agree with com­pul­sion. The seat­belt and hel­met laws are the only ones that are not about the pro­tec­tion of in­no­cent third par­ties. The House of Com­mons twice re­jected the crash hel­met laws on the grounds of civil lib­er­ties. The gov­ern­ment then used en­abling pow­ers to bring the law into be­ing.

Ron­ald Bell, MP for Bea­cons­field at the time, tabled a protest mo­tion on the grounds that there was no prece­dent for such a law. The trans­port sec­re­tary, Keith Speed, had the au­dac­ity to quote the 1911 Fac­tory Act, which re­quired file cut­ters to wear leather aprons.

In Amer­ica, land of the free, they in­vented the pub­lic bur­den the­ory, which can be used to jus­tify any­thing, but sev­eral states have re­fused to com­ply with hel­met and seat­belt leg­is­la­tion.

In­ci­den­tally, Mar­garet Thatcher op­posed the in­tro­duc­tion of the seat­belt law, and also op­posed the

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