The Mountain State has been hailed as one of the nation's safest, according
to one statistical measuring stick.
Between 2001 and 2013, seat belt use in West Virginia moved from 52 percent
to 82 percent, the largest increase in the nation. During roughly the
same period, annual deaths in traffic accidents fell from 411 to 332.
Officials credit the state's primary enforcement law - officers can
pull over drivers for not wearing their seat belt - for the higher seat belt use.
At 95 percent, California has one of the highest seat belt compliance
rates in the country.
Best Traffic Laws for Safety
Seat belt laws in Tulare County infringe on personal choice and are an
example of government paternalism ("we know what's best for you"),
but since seat belts could have saved over 304,000 lives over the past
forty years, law enforcement feels that the intrusion is justified.
There are other California traffic laws that promote roadway safety, such as:
• Unsafe Lane Changes: A car travelling above the posted speed limit
on a straight roadway is much less dangerous than a car that pulls out
in front of you without warning.
• Tailgating: remember the old two-second rule from drivers'
education? Anything closer virtually eliminates reaction time.
• Minimum Speed: Slowpokes cause traffic congestion, irritate drivers
and serve as mobile roadway obstructions to other motorists.
• Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Bad brakes impair stopping ability, bald
tires blow out and bad alignment impairs steering.
All these things have something else in common; they are difficult to
enforce. The system in Kern County favors high fines and cases that are
easy to prove in court such as speeding.