January 18, 2022
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Forty years ago this month, after passing my road test, I became the proud possessor of a driver’s license from Maine. Over the years, I have driven ordinary cars, trucks, pulp trucks, Jeeps, Volkswagen Beetles and about any other thing you could name or mention. Thus far I have yet to have an accident or get a speeding ticket, although my husband claims I have probably logged more driving time than most Greyhound bus drivers.

Now, however, I find myself faced with a very serious decision to make each time I get behind the wheel of my car. Being of short stature and on the “full” side of “full-figured,” I must make the decision of whether I will buckle my seat belt as the law now says I must do, or won’t I? If I obey the law and buckle my seat belt it comes down over the left side of my face blocking my peripheral vision and across my throat causing the sensation one would get if someone had thumbs pressing on ones windpipe. So in order for me to obey the law and drive with my seat belt buckled I am forced to use my left hand to hold the belt away from my throat and side of my face and drive with only one hand on the steering wheel.

This decision is one I am struggling with in more ways than one each time I get behind the wheel of my car. I do not feel that my being forced to drive with only one hand on the steering wheel is in my best interest or the best interest of others on the highway. I am at the point now where I believe my accident free driving record will either soon be over or I will be fined for not being buckled up. Not much opportunity to make a respectable choice in this matter — either be a lawbreaker or not be in full control while you are driving. Great choices for a law-abiding citizen to have to make.

However, there is one more choice I have thought of and it’s beginning to look more and more appealing each time I’m faced with this decision of either breaking the law or driving in an unsafe manner and that is to move to New Hampshire, where there is no sales tax, no seat belt law and a state motto that is close to my heart: “Live Free or Die.” Judith Holmes Machias

As the man said, “Some people are funny.”

They won’t wear seat belts in a car, but just as soon as they get on a plane they buckle up.

I don’t think that belt will help them nearly as much if they hit something going 600 mph as it would in a car going 60 mph. Urban C. Hughes Houlton


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