When I began driving, wearing seatbelts ( or seat belts) was not compulsory in the eyes of the law and besides, most cars did not have seatbelts installed. I freely admit that it took me a while to get used to wearing seatbelts. I am grateful for bleepers in cars that admonished me whenever I had forgotten to put my seatbelt on. Like one of Pavlov's dogs those bleepers eventually taught me to comply with the law.
Taxi drivers, delivery people, emergency service drivers and drivers of public buses do not have to wear seatbelts. I would ask - why not? And I would ask the same question of passengers on public buses. Why don't they have to wear seatbelts? Okay there are usually no seatbelts fitted but why not?
Tonight I was the only passenger aboard the 10.48 Number 88 bus home from Bents Green. The young driver was racing along like Max Verstappen while I gripped the grab rail in front of me. I would have clicked a seatbelt but there wasn't one.
If I had been driving a car, the police could have charged me and I might have received an automatic fine of up to £500 ($US 585).
What is the point of seatbelts from a governmental point of view? One would think that it's to save lives. Saving people from themselves. It's in the public interest.
Okay if that really is the case, then why are people allowed to ride around on two-wheeled vehicles? I am mostly thinking about motorcycles but also bicycles. Obviously it would be verging on the technically impossible to fit seatbelts on such vehicles but if that is the case, shouldn't they simply be banned?
In 2021, 280 British motorcyclists were killed in road accidents and 14,690 casualties were recorded overall. None of them were wearing seatbelts.
Another point I reflect upon is the absence of seatbelts on British railways. You can thunder along at 170mph but no one in your carriage will be wearing seatbelts - because, of course, there aren't any! How can the law insist on seatbelt wearing in cars but not on trains? It seems so contradictory and therefore so wrong. But one day we shall reach The Promised Land.