AFTER the recent death from riding in the back of a pick-up truck, I noticed MV’s online poll for “Law Governing Passengers in the back of Pick-up Trucks” is getting a lot attention. While the voting was nearly even when I last checked more people were in favor of a Law. But for me, the question is really WHAT KIND of Law will our leaders come up with which is why I think it is all important to not try and “OVERTHINK” this issue. Just like these Republicans in the past have continued to raise the “Sin-tax” that only oppresses the poor and doesn’t really generate more income due to the adaptations in the decrease in usage and even cheaper brands being more prevalent like we saw with cigarettes.

If they are going to make a law governing the “safety of People riding in the back of pick-up trucks” then it shouldn’t be absorbent and even difficult for the average person to comply without spending a lot of money. In fact, the law should be so simple that it really makes plain-common-sense and for me that would be: “all persons riding in the rear of a pick-up must have some form of a safety-belt to prevent them from being tossed out of the truck in the event of an accident.” The actual “standard for the belt” should not be delineated in the Bill because everyone will have to “devise their own adaptation” which will more than likely end-up being “a visit to the junk-yard to collect old seatbelts that can be bolted to the frame of the truck or on a bench or seat that is bolted to the frame of the truck.

To defy and/or deny the need for a seatbelt for passengers in the bed is really lunacy given we are required to wear a seatbelt while riding inside the car, which is far safer than in the truck-bed.  Just give Car Dealers and Truck Owners a year to adapt and comply and use the “KISS Methodology” (keep-it-simple-stupid method) and there shouldn’t be a problem with making this all-important improvement in our safety laws to protect everyone riding in the bed of a pick-up. Riding in the bed of a pick-up is normal behavior in the CNMI which is why it must be governed closer.  But you don’t see people riding in the bed of Trucks on the mainland and can you imagine riding in the bed of a pick-up on the Freeways in America traveling 60 to 80 mph which is a pretty scary thought. It should also be duly noted that when there is an incident in the CNMI that led to serious injury or death from riding in the bed of a pick-up SPEED was a contributing factor.  So, when you see people speeding down the street with anyone in the bed of their pick-up think about how truly dangerous it is without a seatbelt, especially for those kids who just love to rid in the bed of the pick-up. Just think about how many lives could have been saved in the CNMI IF they only had a seatbelt on. One People one direction for Safety FIRST and ALWAYS!

AMBROSE M. BENNETT

Activist

Kagman, Saipan

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