In 1963, I was an airman stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, S.D. There was a standing order that all personnel were to wear seat belts on and off the base, in military or personal vehicles. If you were caught not wearing your seat belt it was grounds for court martial, regardless of rank.
My buddy and I were cruising back to base in his 1957 Mercury turnpike coupe when a drunk driver crossed over the center and hit us head on. We were traveling at about 55 mph.
The drunk was killed instantly and my buddy and I were banged up pretty bad. We were wearing our seat belts and I truly believe they saved our lives.
I have noticed that motorists around here for the most part do not wear their seat belts, even though itís the law. I was curious what the percentage of people driving around here not wearing their seat belts might be, so I decided to do a survey of my own. I took a tablet and stood at an intersection on Roan Street in Johnson City. Out of 100 vehicles that passed by, 88 occupants were not wearing their seat belts. Thatís an alarming 88 percent.
I asked myself: Are these people stupid, ignorant, lazy, defiant of the law or all of the above? If the fine for noncompliance of the seat belt law was raised to $100 for the first offense and another $100 added to each offense thereafter plus court costs, Iíd bet more people would adhere to the law.
If youíre not wearing your seat belt think about this. Would you want a law enforcement officer calling your loved one telling them you were killed in a car accident and you were not wearing your seat belt? That is something to think about.
It only takes about 2 seconds to buckle up. The life you save may be your own.
JOHN E. KINSEY