That Eureka Shoot 'em Up
The North Coast Journal has a great account of the police shooting in Eureka the other day. I'm not criticizing Eureka P.D. at all over this but think it important to remember the whole thing started with a perceived seat belt violation. Sure, it could have also been anything else, but discussing seat belt laws the other day with libertarians, I pointed out this is the sort of thing that bothers me about seat belt laws: Just one more thing that can lead to bigger things, and seat belt laws are pretty much a he said (the officer) vs. he said ( the driver) as to whether the driver had his seat belt on to begin with.
For what it's worth, I've been a seat belt fanatic since before the Buckle up for Safety campaigns of the 60s. As soon as seat belts became regular in cars, I wore mine. I do question whether people should be compelled to wear them.
Along the line of the "bigger things" aspect, I recall being in traffic court years ago. Some guy was there who was stopped by the highway patrol in Mckinleyville for a seat belt violation. The driver said he had his belt on. The highway patrolman insisted he didn't. As it happened, as a result of that stop the driver ended up with fines of something like $300.00 plus various fix it tickets. All over a his word vs. his word and a law that is questionable in the first place.