Editor’s Scratchpad

Wednesday, May 2, 2001

Protecting us
from ourselves

When you're caught driving in Hawaii without your seat-belt fastened, you draw a stiff fine of $65.

Allowing a passenger to ride in your car without a seat-belt hooked up also nets you a $65 fine -- not just the front-seat passenger, but every passenger in a vehicle equipped with seat belts.

A recent story in the Star-Bulletin says the Supreme Court "ruled against a driver who was arrested and handcuffed for failing to wear a seat belt." It goes on to say, "The justices said such an arrest does not violate the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable seizures."

Have we gone crazy trying to save us from ourselves? Being hauled off in handcuffs for such a "crime" shows a lack of common sense on the part of the police officer, but to have his actions backed by the top court in the land is scary.

We should return the focus to protecting us from others and them from us. In the interest of equal treatment under the law, does anyone know if June Jones got fined $65?

--Charlotte Phillips

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