Lately I've noticed a huge advertising campaign on radio and television. It's the 'click it or ticket' campaign. This ad campaign explains that Texas law officers are on the lookout for people that fail to wear their seltbelts. The campaign further states that if they see you in a vehicle NOT wearing your seatbelt, you will be given a ticket. I saw one of these commercials in almost every commercial break on television this weekend... not to mention the number of times you hear it on your favorite radio station.

Don't get me wrong, I personally think seatbelts save lives. I wear mine religiously. My question is, who am I hurting if I don't wear my seat belt? I compare it to other laws. For example, the 'helmet law' for motorcyclists. You are not required to wear a helmet in the state of Texas when riding a motorcycle... and who does it hurt if you don't?

My point is, I'm not sure we, as taxpayers, should be supporting the seatbelt law for many reasons. My first reason is stated in the paragraph above. I also feel that law enforcement is spending huge sums of money to mount this campaign. I'm talking about the price of air time on both television and radio, not to mention the cost of print advertising. I realize that part of this 'air time' is free under the title of 'public service announcements' (psa), but not all. With the frequency that these commercials are aired or printed, how much money do you think is being spent on this campaign? Ten million... twenty million dollars or more? Does anyone else think that this money, no matter the amount, could be spent in a better, more productive way? How about higher salaries for our woefully underpaid law enforcement officers? How about using it to apprehend real criminals? How about our schools, where teachers are being laid off by the hundreds? I'm sure you have some ideas of your own, also.

I firmly believe in a seatbelt law to make sure our children are properly protected in a motor vehicle, but I am hardly a threat to society if I choose to not wear mine.