Anorak News | “Live Free Or Die” In New Hampshire

“Live Free Or Die” In New Hampshire

by | 24th, May 2007

IS the state of New Hampshire taking its “Live Free or Die” motto a bit too seriously?

New Hampshire is the only state in the Union that does not have a law requiring people over the age of 18 to wear a seat belt. About three-quarters of fatal crashes in the state involve people not strapped in.

But State Senators are darned if that is going to make them turn against their “libertarian principles” and cave to “nanny state” pressures in the latest attempt to force people to buckle up.

Last month, the Democratic-controlled House narrowly passed a proposal that made seat belt use compulsory. The proposal’s supporters, which included a number of Republicans, even made audacious claims that seat belts “reduced injuries” and “lowered health care costs”.

But the Republican-controlled senate was having none of it. A State Senate transportation committee recommended yesterday that the Senate rejects the proposal when it come up for a vote in the coming weeks.

Even Democratic Senators are suspicious.

Senator Lou D’Allesandro, a Democrat, told the Concord Monitor that the proposal was “another mandate that I think is against the libertarian philosophy of New Hampshire.”

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Robert J. Letourneau, a transportation committee member who voted against the bill, told the New York Times that legislating behavior only bred resentment. He said it was better to educate and encourage the people of New Hampshire.

“We can’t legislate common sense,” Senator Letourneau said. “The point of view to put these things into law, to change people’s personal lifestyle, is not what I consider good policy. I trust our citizens to make those decisions for themselves.”

And the people of New Hampshire certainly are deciding. At around 50 percent, the state has the lowest rate of seat belt use in the country.

Posted: 24th, May 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink