Man Challenges New Kansas Seat Belt Law

Update: see previous posts – December 30, 2010 Ontario’s Seatbelt Law is 35 Years Old – January 1, 2011, December 1, 2010 Huge Fine Increases begin Today

see source, KWCH-TV

Fifteen (15) days ago, on January 1, 2011, the seat belt laws in Ontario became thirty-five (35) years old.  In 1976 seat belt laws came into effect in Ontario.

Initially, when seat belt laws were introduced, Ontarians were reluctant to buckle up, especially when they lived in the first province to make it mandatory.

Today, 92.8 per cent of all Ontarians buckle up – that’s up from just 17.2 per cent who wore seat belts before the mandatory law took effect.

Kansas’ newly introduced primary seat belt law went into effect on June 1, 2010 after a grace period was allowed. Police began issuing tickets on June 30, 2010.

Seat belts save over 13,000 lives every year. One of them could be yours…

According to the Kansas Constitution, no law may be enacted except by “Bill”. Accordingly, proposed laws are introduced and passed in bill form and each is known as a “House Bill” or “Senate Bill.”

Under this law, police are entitled to stop and ticket drivers and front-seat passengers who don’t wear a seat belt, even if they have not committed another traffic violation. The law also allows police to issue a ticket for adults who are not buckled up in the back seat, but only if another citation is issued. This law did not affect the laws already in effect for children under the age of eighteen.

A Wichita, Kansas man, Paul Weigand, is challenging this law. He has constructed a seatbelt that he wears around his waist, that he wears in his motor vehicle, rather than utilizing the seatbelt assembly which is installed in his motor vehicle.

He doesn’t believe that seat belt laws (see the law below) should be mandatory and imposed by the State of Kansas on the individual motorist. He thinks that the decision to buckle up should be a personal decision.

He has challenged a ticket that he received, and thinks that the wording of the law is flawed, due to the fact that it does not specifically mention that the seat belt needs to be attached to the interior of the motor vehicle and that it doesn’t state that the seat belt requires to be factory equipment.

He took his ticket to court and the judge presiding over the municipal court ordered Mr. Weigand’s case to trial.

Weigand revealed in an interview that he has a phobia about wearing a seat belt. If he made an appointment with his doctor and received a written statement from him/her, stating that Mr. Weigand was unable, due to medical reasons, to wear a seat belt, this law would not apply to Mr. Weigand. He could then drive without wearing his seat belt (carrying this medical certificate with him, on his person or kept within the vehicle) and if an police officer pulled him over to issue a “seat belt violation ticket”, he could simply present this letter from his doctor to the officer, which would prevent the officer from generating a ticket.

The Kansas Seat Belt law being challenged:

Session of 2010 – SENATE BILL No. 483 (By Committee on Transportation)

AN ACT relating to motor vehicles; concerning the use of safety belts; amending K.S.A. 2009 Supp. 8-2503 and 8-2504 and repealing the existing sections.

(b)  Each occupant of a passenger car, manufactured

with safety belts,  in compliance with federal motor

safety standard no. 208, who is at least 14 years of age

but less than 18 years of age, shall have a safety

belt properly fastened about such a person’s body at

all times when the passenger car is in motion.

(c)  This section does not apply to:

(1) An occupant of a passenger car who possess

a written statement from a licensed physcian that

such person is unable for medical reasons to wear

a safety belt system;

This isn’t the first time that Paul Wiegand has challenged a law that he doesn’t agree with.

In June, 2010 Paul Weigand was involved in a challenge to Kansas’ smoking ban – see story

Paul Weigand owns Shooters in Wichita and says it’s about the customers right to choose.

“Everybody knows smoking’s not good for you,” said Weigand, “But nobody has to come in my place, they choose to come in my place.”

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