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Resurfaced 1984 News Report Shows People's Hostile Reaction To New Seatbelt Law

Jake Massey

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Resurfaced 1984 News Report Shows People's Hostile Reaction To New Seatbelt Law

Featured Image Credit: NBC Nightly News

Nowadays, wearing a seatbelt seems like common sense - but it wasn't always.

Fastening a simple strap across your body before you climb into a metal mass and zoom around at high speed is a pain-free way to significantly reduce your chances of dying or sustaining a serious injury on the road.

And yet, many people did not react well to being told to wear one.

In a segment about public health requirements on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah shared a clip from a 1984 news segment in which people can be seen complaining about a proposed seatbelt ordinance.

Watch the clip from around 1m 10secs here:


In the report, disgruntled residents can be seen moaning about the law.

One elderly fella said he'd have to take a detour around the town when driving, while another bloke said he would ignore the law entirely.

He said: "I wouldn't wear my seatbelt. If I get caught I get caught I guess."

Another man said people should be able to make their own choice.

He said: "There's no freedom no more.

"If you don't want to wear it, that's your choice."

Noah shared the clip to draw comparisons with the current Covid-19 situation, and discussions around vaccine mandates.

He said: "A mandate might be the only way to get the vaccine numbers up, but that doesn't mean people are going to go along easily.

"Any mandate, no matter how much it seems to make common sense to some people, is gonna make other people really mad.

"And it's not just the vaccine; this has happened before, you realize that right?

"There was a time in America when a lot of people refused to wear seatbelts. And when the government finally stepped in and said you have to wear a seatbelt - boy did they get p****d off."

Many people believe that vaccinations should be a matter of personal choice, but like with seatbelts, abstaining has implications for the safety of others. It also increases the strain on health services.

Many people think vaccine should be optional. Credit: PA
Many people think vaccine should be optional. Credit: PA

Earlier this week, the UK government announced its 'plan B' for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic this winter, which includes the return of mandatory face masks, vaccination passports and asking the public to work from home once again.

Whilst 'plan A' hinges on the continued success of the NHS-led vaccination programme, the rollout of booster jabs for over-50s, continued testing and tracing, control of international borders, and jabs being offered to schoolchildren between 12 and 15 years of age, health secretary Savid Javid said that there was a secondary plan in place in the event that the first doesn't have the desired effect.

That secondary plan would see several familiar things from last year, including the mandatory wearing of face masks and working from home, brought back.

Topics: Viral, Interesting, Community

Jake Massey
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