I am responding to Nick Oberle’s letter in the May 13 edition of the Western News regarding his umbrage at being fined for not using a seatbelt.
When I grew up there were no seatbelts; there was no choice. When I grew up “everyone” smoked and drank alcohol before, during and after driving. And if you doubt that “everyone” smoked, just watch movies up to the ‘70s .There was choice, but “everyone” did it so it was the norm to follow.
When I started driving there were only lap seatbelts; studies had shown that death and injury were reduced by wearing same. I chose to wear seatbelts; I believed that I was worth saving from an early, unnecessary death or injury. It took me many more years to stop drinking and driving and to stop smoking, but in all those years I wore seatbelts as a driver and as a passenger.
In the early ‘80s my life was saved by my seatbelt during a snow storm (now lap and shoulder) as confirmed by the attending police officer; I was a passenger. In the mid 1990s my life was saved by a seatbelt as confirmed by an attending police officer. I was the lone driver, sober early in the morning, but fell asleep at the wheel.
Note: my life was saved, not just deferred by severe injuries or coma. I spared my family and friends the untimely grief and separation of an early death; I save you and how many others from the expense keeping me on life support or from needing life-long supportive care. I rest my case for wearing seatbelts at all times.