The state of Maine just experienced its worst car-pileup in state history, a collision involving 75 cars on I-95, but state lawmakers are considering a bill that would eliminate seat belt requirements.
The Republican lawmaker who introduced the bill to roll back seat belt laws is aware that his timing is awkward, to say the least, but he believes the legislature must press on.
Republican Sen. Eric Brakey said Friday that it’s “unfortunate timing” coming right after what is thought to be the largest crash in state history. He says he believes people should wear seat belts but sees a mandate as government overreach.
In addition to increasing the number of fatalities the state sees each year, the legislation would also cost the state money in the form federal grants.
If the bill passes, Maine's Bureau of Highway Safety would lose almost $500,000 a year in federal grants that pay for educational programs and child safety seats for low-income families, said Director Lauren Stewart, who also opposes the bill.
A law that strongly encourages drivers to properly secure themselves and their passengers to prevent them from being ejected from the vehicle may seem like common sense to you, but to some people its big government overreach.
While a number of people were injured, no one was killed in the recent 75-car pileup and the lack of fatalities can almost certainly be attributed to big government seat belt laws.