Sponsors: Rep. Mulligan, Graf. 12; Rep. Horrigan, Straf. 6; Rep. Murray, Rock. 24; Rep. Doherty, Merr. 20; Rep. DiLorenzo, Rock. 17; Rep. Abel, Graf. 13; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5 Six representatives and one senator have sponsored HB1259, which begins to weaken the patriotic tradition of personal liberty that the great state of New Hampshire has enjoyed. In the proposed bill, the politicians make it a crime to ride in a vehicle without a seatbelt – unless that vehicle is transporting many young, fragile children. Despite politicians’ claims that seatbelt laws (and police enforcement of such laws) are created for the safety of citizens, school buses remain exempt from the law. Motorcycles – likely the most dangerous vehicles invented – also remain legal in this new authoritarian vision of a state with diminished personal liberty.
Another authoritarian law that this bill would expand is granting the federal government permission to regulate how we live. The bill mandates that all adults in NH wear a seatbelt “…meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards”. This seems to insinuate that if Trump’s DOT changes the requirement for seat belts, every adult in NH would have to obey the new US law. Why give the federal government that power?? The bill also establishes that New Hampshire residents support giving the federal government the power to determine which type of restraints are appropriate for children and for toddlers: “No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any way while carrying as a passenger a person less than 7 years of age unless such passenger is properly fastened and secured by a child restraint system which is in accordance with the safety standards approved by the United States Department of Transportation in 49 C.F.R. section 571.213.”. This bill maintains current language that would force NH parents to obey federal adult and child restraint regulations, regardless of how many/which types of straps or car seats they might entail. We use our seatbelts in New Hampshire because we believe that it makes travelling much safer. But is it the government’s place to force safety laws upon us by threat of force? Do you trust Trump and his DOT to regulate how and when you restrain your children in your car? Who is better at restraining children, Trump’s DOT, or you? Urge the sponsors to withdraw the bill and urge your representatives to vote against it! Urge the House Transportation Committee and ask them to kill the bill!
House Bill 1259 died in the House.