February 21, 2023


By Scott Hennen
Host of “What’s On Your Mind?” Radio Show heard on KTGO-1090AM and KFYR-550AM
Co-owner of Flag Family Media and the McKenzie County Farmer

It is against the law to operate a vehicle in North Dakota without wearing a seatbelt. However, that law is not enforced unless a law enforcement officer catches you committing a different infraction. That’s why they call it “secondary enforcement”. There is an effort in North Dakota’s legislative session to change the state law to a “Primary Enforcement”. It’s not easy. Yet statistics from other states show that if law enforcement can issue tickets for unbelted drivers as a “primary enforcement”, motorists are more likely to buckle up. When we buckle up, we all have an increased chance of surviving a crash. So why are we arguing about this?
North Dakota values its freedom. I love that about us. But we are not free to drive at any speed. We can’t just decide to drive in the opposite lane. Freedom comes with laws and order. Grand Forks County Sheriff Andy Schneider says he’s heard the argument that the proposed law is “taking away freedoms” but he says “in actuality, it is not about citations. This is about life! Valuing human life and trying to get loved ones home to see the people that wanna see them most.”

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