Signs flashing “Click It Or Ticket” and “Seat Belts Save Lives.” The deer that ran in front of our car on a South Carolina road. All reminders about wearing seat belts as we enjoyed a drive down the east coast. They left me wondering if New Hampshire has ever updated state seat belt laws. No, unfortunately, we’re still the only state with no seat belt law for adults. Goes along with being one of three states with no motorcycle helmet law. Maybe our motto should be “Live Free And Die.”
The Union Leader on Feb. 6, 2018, covered a Transportation Committee hearing on a new bill to require adult seat belt use. Their article states “Appearing in support of the bill were representatives of Safe Kids New Hampshire, the state Nurses Association and Hospital Association, the Department of Health and Human Services, Concord Hospital, the National Safety Council, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” Sounds like an impressive group to me. In addition, each year New Hampshire gives up approximately $280,000 in federal funds because of our lack of an adult seat belt law. Add that to increased insurance and hospital costs due to injuries that could have been prevented. Maybe that makes sense to some people. Not to me.
My intention here is to make sure everyone reading knows New Hampshire has no seat belt law for adults, and that the New Hampshire House recently voted to table a bill that would have changed that. There was no floor debate or vote. Amherst Reps. Peter Hansen and Reed Panasiti voted with the majority to table the bill. Shannon Chandley voted against tabling. If you think the bill should have passed, please contact them. Ask them to try again.