Montana legislators are currently deciding whether to pass a bill that makes not wearing a seat belt an offense that law enforcement can stop a vehicle for. This is called a “primary” law, as seat belt violations have always been “secondary” laws, which mean if law enforcement sees such a violation they cannot stop a vehicle only for that offense. The State of Montana says that the proposed change is to assist in the safety of its citizens, and raise awareness. However, the change creates a tool by which law enforcement can stop basically any vehicle, by alleging that they did not see the driver wearing a seat belt.
This issue truly comes down to each citizens beliefs in the ability of Government to be involved in their affairs. If you want law enforcement to be able to stop your vehicle and then investigate what is going on inside your vehicle because you were not wearing your seat belt, then you should be all for this change.
If you believe that our Montana State Constitution that provides a right of privacy to all citizens of the state, should not allow law enforcement and the government to poke around your vehicle, and that you should be able to have the freedom to drive without a seat belt if you feel like it, then you should be against this bill.
If you want your voice heard on this issue, write your congressman or woman, or post a response to this blog and let others hear your voice.
Marty is a former criminal prosecutor in the Cascade County Attorney’s Office and now uses that experience to defend those accused of crimes. A University of Montana School of Law graduate, Marty focuses his practice on personal injury and criminal defense and is a premier DUI defense attorney. He is also well versed in the insurance claims industry and has negotiated significant settlements with nearly every major insurance company.