Click it or Kick it-in the Vegetable Ward
I frequently find topics of interest from the innocuous postings from FaceBook. The other day, someone commented that he had gotten a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. His take on the whole thing was that he never wore seatbelts and he wasn’t about to start now.
I immediately thought of helmets for motorcyclists, and how much resistance was mounted when the mandatory helmet laws, were first proposed. The argument was that people resented ongoing government attempts to exert influence over the details of people’s lives.
Seriously, though, how valid is this point of view? Is it aesthetics? After all, wearing a helmet or a seatbelt might limit my flair or style. Is it just immaturity? Why does the government have to get involved in my personal business? Is it laziness? I just hate to take the time to put on my helmet or belt up, to go around the block.
I would argue that certain protective measures, employed while traveling high rates of speed, or engaged in potentially risky behavior, supersede the notion of freedom of choice. In other words, common sense should prevail over whimsy. For someone to take the juvenile approach, that he or she resents being told to do something, even if it makes perfect sense, is unacceptable. Why unacceptable?
We all have a responsibility to ourselves and to the people in our lives, to take rudimentary precautions to protect ourselves. In yesterday’s FaceBook post, a reader gently commented that the person who made the original post, should remember that a few weeks ago, he had proudly announced that he was soon to be a father. By keeping the big picture firmly in place, it would make sense that even if seatbelts were perceived as unnecessary in an earlier time, maybe that notion needed to be replaced with a more relevant one.
Another reader mentioned that the nieces and nephews of the original poster, routinely wore seatbelts, and maybe he should take note of that fact. After all, if someone does not see the practical value of self-protection, maybe he should look at the bigger picture. In behaving with callous disregard to his own safety, he puts the potential burden of his actions on someone else, should an accident occur.
If a person is involved in an accident while not wearing a seatbelt, and is thrown through the windshield, causing trauma to the head, and putting him into intensive care at the emergency hospital, who should assume liability? Should there be no insurance, or if there is a prolonged period of recovery, or even if recovery to normalcy is impossible, who ultimately shoulders financial responsibility?
Neither morally, nor legally, can a hospital pull the plug, nor would it desire to do so. But the fact remains, that by not employing basic safety measures, a person’s life can be permanently, and irrevocably changed for the worse, and thus it is paramount that efforts be made to regulate the behavior of those who are unwilling to take basic precautions on their own.
I think with all of the emphasis on bicycle helmets for cyclists and skateboarders, which requires that even the very youngest wear them, that the next logical step would be to embrace other safety features of the motorcycle helmet and the seatbelt. To get to the point in one’s life, where he is responsible enough to drive a motorized vehicle, I think would bring about a natural progression to a higher need for safety.
If not, as was obviously the case in yesterday’s post, I think the comment of still another reader should be employed: Maybe the original poster should spend 24 hours in an emergency room setting, observing all that goes on within that facility, and possibly observing the differences between someone involved in an accident, who chose not to wear a seatbelt, and someone who was smart enough to do so.
Then the whole issue would probably become a moot point. The saying goes, “Click it or ticket.” Maybe it should read, “Click it or kick it-[in the vegetable ward].