I enjoyed your article regarding seat belt enforcement. South Carolina is a “secondary enforcement” state, where one can (theoretically) only be ticketed for failing to buckle up when stopped for another infraction.
For several years we also have run “Click It or Ticket” checkpoints on SC roads (haven’t noticed one this year yet) with the media campaigns that accompany them. While advertised and hyped by local media with this slogan, care is taken to specify that “officers are conducting safety checks, which in no way violates the primary enforcement ban.” Within the last 2 years, then Atty. General Charlie Condon even stated the stops were illegal, but the only guy I’m aware of to challenge it in court lost. Must’a fell asleep…
Needless to say, the “safety” checks yield about as many arrests for drugs, DUI, and the like, and are indeed, in my humble opinion, a “gateway” method for law enforcement to “interact” with drivers, usually with a slew of “safety” oriented questions like, “Where are you going to/coming from? Got anything illegal in the vehicle? Mind if we have a look?”
I’ve had just enough experience with both legal and criminal justice education to look at these attempt to “force” personal safety on Americans that articles like yours catch my attention. I foresee mandatory splints for skiers in the near future.
Well, I’m off to see what happens if I ride my bicycle without a helmet in Brevard, NC — or is it Hendersonville — a few blocks away. Anyway, they’ve announced they’ll ticket adults on bicycles without helmets, and I’m sorta’ bored — and definitely not a juvenile….
Enjoy the site!p>Later! br> — Damien Carr
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