It's that time of year again when many police departments will be getting money from a federal grant to take YOUR money. Is this really about public safety? New Jersey has a 94% compliance rate when it comes to people wearing their seat belts.

It's been almost 40 years since New Jersey implemented a seat belt law. It was 1985 and it was supposed to only be a secondary offense for the driver and front seat passengers.

That meant that they couldn't pull you over for not wearing one but could ticket you if they noticed the driver and front seat passenger were not buckled up. Then in 2010, it became mandatory that all passengers wear a seat belt.

U.S. Transportation Department Launches Nationwide Click It Or Ticket Program
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When I was a kid most cars did not have seat belts. Then lap belts became an option for most cars in the mid-1960s. The click-it-or-ticket campaign began in the Carolina states in 1993. It quickly spread to other states with grants from the federal government to boost the effort.

It is a great idea to wear your seat belt. The odds of you getting less injured in the invent of a crash are much better if you wear one. However, there are occasions when not wearing a seat belt saves people from more serious injury.

We talked to a retired firefighter who covered over a thousand accidents in his 33-year career, and he confirmed he saw accidents where not wearing one saved their life. But it is still a much safer bet to wear one.

It's bad enough that they took the choice away, but with a 94% compliance rate, why the big deal every year? The answer is simple. MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More than 130 towns in New Jersey will get a share of $800,000 for the program this year. You can see here which towns are getting the money this year. It's easy overtime for the officers in that town and they get to check for any other violations while they have you at a checkpoint.

Canva/Townsquare Media illustration
Canva/Townsquare Media illustration

It is amazing to me how Americans, particularly in New Jersey, don't mind being stopped at a checkpoint by armed officers of the government to see if they are buckled into their seat.

Boy, we have come a long way since the founders of our country fought against tyranny and overreaching authority.

It's 2023 and we've all just become accustomed to being treated like the King's subjects and suspects. Happy motoring!

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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