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Seatbelt Safety Checks

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Seatbelt Safety Checks

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
November 19, 2008

When will the public raise its ugly head and protest the horrendous waste of time and money when a law enforcement agency ties up traffic for a seatbelt safety check?

On Y-103.9 Anna Cherry just announced one being conducted right now on Algonquin Road at the merge with Highways 68-59. What a mess that will be during the morning rush! Eastbound Algonquin Road emerges from a four-mile stretch of two-lane road at that point. Traffic is often slow there anyway; add in a seatbelt check and it'll be like putting a match to a fuse on dynamite.

When you consider the lost commuting time, the gasoline wasted in idling and slow-moving traffic and the additional emissions pollution, does it make sense to conduct a seatbelt safety check during rush-hour traffic?

I believe in seatbelt use. I don't start my car without fastening my seatbelt. A seatbelt saved my life when I was 18. AND I don't believe in primary enforcement of the seatbelt law!

I'd rather have our well-paid police officers and deputies enforcing MAJOR traffic violations, such as speeding, tailgating, weaving in traffic, illegal passing, aggressive driving - shall I go on?

And so what is planned by the McHenry County Sheriff's Department between now and November 30? Seatbelt safety checks!

According to the Northwest Herald this morning, they sucked some money out of the Integrated Mini-Grant Enforcement Program, or IMaGE. (OK, so the NWH didn't quite phrase it that way.) Who do you suppose went to the planning retreat in Las Vegas and spent a week figuring out that name? Is this a State of Illinois Grant or a slice of fat from the ol' Federal pork barrel. What are those special pay-offs for votes called? Oh, yes; earmarks! Pig's ear; right?

I remember driving right into a seatbelt safety check a couple of years ago at Route 120 and Greenwood Road. I had been tailgated by a woman driver westbound on Route 120 from Ringwood Road. She had been very aggressive. I tried to get a deputy to ticket her. Ha! Writing seatbelt tickets was more important than getting a dangerous, aggressive driver off the road!

Got an opinion about seatbelt safety checks? Let Sheriff Keith Nygren know by emailing him at KNygren@co.mchenry.il.us. If you don't get a reply, your email was probably caught by the Spam filter and sent to solitary confinement. The County's email system doesn't even inform you when your email isn't delivered, and apparently no one reviews the email in the spam filter for email that should be delivered as addressed (based on my experience with the State's Attorney's office). So call him at 815.338.2144

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