Seat Belts Save Lives!?

Positive cultural change takes a while to get established.

The wearing of a seat belt by vehicle occupants only became mandatory here in Australia in the early 1970s. State governments in the 1960’s were reluctant to legislate on seat belts. A few vocal minority groups claimed that the data wasn’t conclusive and that such a law would be an unreasonable curbing of a citizen’s liberty.

It’s hard to understate how stupid that sounds in 2013 with decades of data and thousands upon thousands of lives saved. It happened, though. One day we’ll contemplate why it took years instead of just months to clamp down on mobile phones and texting while driving.

You’d think that emerging automotive markets might be a bit smarter in this modern age, that they’d learn from the experiences from others. From a legislative point of view, they have. Seat belts are mandatory in China, which is now the biggest auto market in the world. A few entrepreneurial types, however, are tempting Darwinian fate with some products aimed at preserving that same ‘liberty’ that seat belt dodgers of the 1960’s held so dear.

From the cultural attaché at Car News China comes the seat belt T-shirt.


Fashionista drivers with a penchant for freedom now have a prop to help them avoid the Chinese plod while being free to lurch off balance in a corner and at liberty to launch themselves through their windscreen in the event of a front-end prang.

The modern protector of the people’s freedom needs a little more than that, though.

Modern cars are just riddled with safety devices with one of the most basic ones being the warning bell to tell you fasten your seat belt. What’s really annoying for the automotive Che Guevara is that those little warning bells just don’t shut up! They ring and ring and ring and RING, offering an audible mockery of your free driving experience.

FakeBeltClipEnter the fake seat belt clip, designed to let you ride belt-free and bell-free at the same time.

Simply jump into your 3-star rated buzz-box (wearing your seat belt T-shirt, of course) and then place your fake clip into the seat belt anchor point and you’re ready to explore the strength of your front windscreen completely unfettered.

The clip comes in multiple designs, too, from your favourite manufacturer’s logo (copyright? what copyright?) to pretty cartoon designs that make being splattered all over the road FUN. Those other freedom lovers are covered, too, with a special six-shooter model that makes your selt belt anchor looks like a holster. Saddle up!


The jewel in the fake-clip crown, however, has to be the bottle opener clip. There’s nothing more liberating, after all, than a few brews with the boys followed by a comfy trip home secure in the knowledge that nothing’s going to stop you from eating your dashboard – except for that pesky airbag!


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  1. It’s funny. Here where I live in Colorado, a VW filled with drunk 20 somethings hit an Audi head on last week. The three drunks were all seat belt free. One died, one’s in hospital in critical condition and the driver’s in jail (thanks to the airbag). The Audi driver, wearing his seat belt, had minor abrasions and burns from the airbag.

    Moral of the story…idiots persist everywhere.

    1. Funny. Seat belts only became mandatory where I live in 1986. Even more ridiculous, 31 of our states allow helmet-free motorcycling. We aren’t one of them.

  2. I am glad for seatbelts and laws which protect us. But I remember the uproar when mandatory seatbelt laws went into effect.One relative decided not to wear the belt because government shouldn’t have the right to make people protect themselves. Hmm… I’m not sure about that. Government has to make laws because people do foolish things. At least that’s my opinion.

    But how far should that go?For instance, should government be able to tell people the size of their CocaCola bottle when buying pizza? The mayor of New York did it for the food of the people right? How far should government go? That’s my question.

  3. Having recently been hit by a pickup truck, I was glad for every safety device my Saab 9-3 has including the seat belts. If I had been on a motorcycle, I would be dead. I’m keeping my 9-3.

      A single-vehicle accident resulted in a man’s death and the closure of I-27N at 19th Street for several hours Saturday night, March 16.

      According to a Lubbock police incident report, Christopher Garcia, 34, was ejected from his 1997 Ford Mustang after swerving to miss a box which had fallen from an unknown vehicle. He swerved right to avoid the collision before swerving left and hitting the box.

      Garcia lost control of the car and collided with the guardrail on the west side of the 19th Street exit. The collision ejected him from the car, and his body came to rest on the exit ramp. He was not wearing a seat belt.

      Garcia was transported to University Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries.

      Garcia’s passenger, Cynthia Garcia, was transported to UMC with minor injuries. She wore her seat belt at the time of the wreck.”

      Lubbock, TX 3/17/13

        1. “A Lubbock man is charged with two felony counts of intoxication assault following a two-car collision last week in the 700 block of Avenue Q.

          Travis Kyle Tickle, 22, remained in the Lubbock County Criminal Detention Center on $40,000 bail, where he was booked just after noon Tuesday, March 19, according to a statement from Lubbock police Sgt. Robert Hook.

          Police believe Tickle was intoxicated during the crash just after 1 a.m. Tuesday, March 12, Hook said.

          Tickle and three others were transported to Lubbock hospitals after the crash.

          Police said Tickle and his passenger, 22-year-old Matthew Rodriguez, were traveling east in a 2010 Lancer Mitsubishi in the 1700 block of Glenna Goodacre Boulevard at an unsafe speed and failed to stop at a stop sign, according to the accident report.

          Luis Mireles, 46, and his passenger, 38-year-old Yolanda Gonzales, were traveling south on Avenue Q in a 1994 Sierra GMC, and struck the Mitsubishi on its driver’s side as the car crossed Avenue Q.

          The truck spun and came to rest in the middle of the intersection.

          Police said the Mitsubishi continued eastbound and struck three cars in the Holiday Inn parking lot before coming to rest.

          During the accident, Rodriguez and Gonzalez were ejected from their vehicles. Neither were wearing seat belts.

          Rodriguez remained in critical condition late Tuesday at University Medical Center, according to a hospital supervisor.”

          Seat belts again. Same source, Lubbock AVALANCHE-JOURNAL, 3/19/13

  4. Way back in the 70’s, I was involved in a car smash that ended with fatalities in the other car, ie:
    Front seat passenger Dead,
    Driver had his chest caved in by the steering column [Ford Capri 3L].

    Myself, I had deep abrasions to my face [although a wonder what a good Surgeon can do].
    My Car was a Triumph 2.5PI. which hit the Capri in the Passenger door & ended up over a foot shorter from the front of the bonnet to the wind screen.
    The Capri’s passenger seat ended up 6″ wide.

    Thank God, the seat belts of today, actually work, IF YOU WARE THEM……of course!!
    – – –
    PS, The driver of the Capri, was found Guilty of dangerous driving & involuntary manslaughter .