When I was a kid, you didn’t have to wear seat belts in the car. Safety was an “option.” Now, if you and your kids are not buckled up, they’ll fry you. Not just the law, but other parents won’t hesitate to let you have it if they see your kids aren’t wearing one or secured in a car seat or booster seat. The national safety belt law went into effect in 1986. Before that, we had seat belts in cars, but they were just cloth lap belts, conveniently tucked down into the seat. My mom’s arm was our seat belt. My dad used to call her “The Seat Belt.” Years later, he started calling her “The Air Bag.” I thought it was just people of my parents’ generation that didn’t wear seat belts. But now, I hear young men between 17 and 24 years of age that tell me they don’t wear a seat belt. When asked why, they say it’s just not cool. Plus it’s uncomfortable. That’s exactly what my Mom would say about the seat belt. She and my Father would drive to Texas all the way from Illinois. And they would never wear their seat belts. My Mother, much like these young guys that don’t wear their seat belts, would say that the seat belt is uncomfortable and will wrinkle her outfit. Not like going through the windshield won’t wrinkle your outfit and your head as well. So, I resort to lying to my parents when they would come to visit me. Not that I’ve never lied to my parents before, but my parents are 78 years old now. And I’m “yikes” (that’s my new age…”yikes”). If my parents are visiting, and I’m driving them around, I tell them if they don’t buckle up, I, as the driver, will get both of their tickets. Of course that is a blatant lie. In Texas, if anyone under 17 years of age (i.e. under age) is not wearing a seat belt in the car, the driver gets the citation. But, anyone 17 or older (i.e. of age) is not wearing a seat belt, they get their own citation, not the driver. I think that’s fair enough. So my parents would buckle up. They’re from Illinois, so they don’t know Texas laws.

Wearing a seat belt is just a good habit to get into. Not only for safety’s sake, but so you don’t get cited for it. I think they train the police in the academy to be able to see, even through a tinted window, if you’re wearing your seat belt or not. I also think they train them in the academy to be able to tell if you’re lying or not. Just like your parents.
Until next week…buckle up.

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Seat Belts In The Car – Comedy Defensive Driving