click it or ticket.

Libertarian/conservative small-government fruitcake New Hampshire doesn’t have a mandatory seatbelt law for adults. The New Hampshire seatbelt use rate is 75%.*

Neighboring Massachusetts, the Northeastern bastion of progressivism and Laws-Will-Fix-It-ism, has a mandatory seatbelt law. The Massachusetts seatbelt use rate is 73.20%.*

Is it that we New Hampshirites have enough common sense that we don’t need the threat of a fine to think buckling up is a pretty good idea, or is it that our Massachusetts neighbors are so much less responsible that they do need that threat to have a seatbelt use rate that’s almost as good as ours?

Of course, you can’t argue this with a fan of mandatory seatbelt laws. They’d take one look at the numbers and claim that a.) NH’s rate would be even better with a mandatory seatbelt law, and that b.) MA’s would be ever so much worse without it, thereby proving the need for it.


*Source for the compliance rate data: NHTSA data for 2011, the most recent year available.

7 thoughts on “click it or ticket.

  1. OR…… Massachusetts usage rate would be better if the citizens were not being treated like children, provoking a reasonable disdainful response to awthawtee.

  2. My beef has always been that when the person who didn’t buckle in gets themselves horribly maimed in an accident and left in a semi vegetative state eventually its going to be yours and my taxes paying to keep them soiling the bed linens forever.

    This is why I approve of a regulation to mandate “Head spikes” on any car when the seat belt indicator is on. If your seat belt isn’t fastened, sharpened spikes should protrude directly in front of the driver, or passengers head to reduce debilitating injuries by increasing fatalities.

    I would suggest the same thing for motorcycles, but really helmet laws increase debilitating injuries, by reducing fatalities. So I guess that means I’m all for the removal of helmet laws (although I do like how Michigan did it by making it mandatory you carry extra insurance reducing the dependance upon medicare for vegetative linen soilers)

  3. Simple answer. In NH, someone cuts you off in the car, you fuss, maybe give them the finger and return the favor. In MA, you have to follow them to the next red light, get out of the car and stand close enough to the window to give them a goooooood look at your testicles. Pretty sure it’s one of the blue laws or something.

  4. As far as I can tell, there is not yet a law against stupidity so perhaps the Massachusetts residents are just a tad dumber than those drivers in New Hampshire. Anyway Darwinism will eventually solve that problem.

  5. I checked the NHTSA site – this data is based on surveys. Surveys usually have a margin of error, and a 1.8% difference is probably inside that margin of error.

    In other words, both states have about the same level of seat belt usage.

  6. Hmm. I loved this factoid. Was going to tweet this little gem. But I was afraid I might look foolish if I did not check the source (, I assume).

    Turns out that NH still has the third lowest belt usage rate of all measured states (only MA and SD are worse in that regard) and is below the nationwide average by 9 percentage points in 2011, which I will assume to be a statistically significant amount. And looking at the shading of the table, the states with primary belt enforcement use seem to have an overall higher usage rate.