Following the rules can seem lame, or uncool at times. However, rules are in place for a reason, and that reason is usually for our own safety. For example, the seatbelt laws in California are in place to protect us. For some reason, there are people who think it’s uncool to wear a seatbelt. They fail to realize that being dead is more uncool. Seatbelt laws in California are as follows according to the California Department of Motorized Vehicles:
- Vehicles must contain properly functioning seat belts.
- Any operator of a motor vehicle must wear a safety belt at all times.
- All passengers 8 years old and older that are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall or taller, are required to wear a seat belt.
- Children that are 8 years old and younger that are under 4 feet 9 inches tall must use a child safety seat.
Wearing a seatbelt can mean the difference between life and death in most cases. A seatbelt can hold you in your seat, and prevent you from being ejected from the car. We often overlook how much a car crash can affect us, and a seatbelt prevents our momentum from hurting us even more. This is why commercials are so adamant about people buckling up when in a vehicle.
Buckling up seems like a smart, reasonable thing to do, so why don’t we all do it? When we don’t wear a seatbelt while in the car, we are risking our lives. When we choose to not buckle up, we better have a good reason. The most common reason why people don’t buckle up, is because they’re in a hurry. They are running late for an important event, and they need to get going now. They do not take the few extra seconds to fasten their seatbelt before hurrying off. The thing is, that little inconvenience can save their lives.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) wants you be safe. Even though they may seem like bad guys for pulling you over to make sure you buckle up and drive safe, they are simply looking out for you. That is why they have several rules and laws in place for your safety. The laws become even more important when they involve the safety of children. The following is a list of child safety laws from the CHP website:
- Children under 2 years of age shall ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches tall. The child shall be secured in a manner that complies with the height and weight limits specified by the manufacturer of the car seat.
- Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
- Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4’9” in height may be secured by a booster seat, but at a minimum must be secured by a safety belt.
- Passengers who are 16 years of age and over are subject to California’s Mandatory Seat Belt law.
It’s simple to take five seconds of your time to buckle up. Wearing a seatbelt is lifesaving, and should be considered cool. If for some reason it’s uncool to your friends, family, or kids, make it cool for them. Explain that you value their life, and want them to buckle up so that they will be around for a long time. Follow the law, and buckle up to save your life.