Monday, May 24, 2010

Better be sure to buckle up!

The weather people forecast a fine weekend, and that's just what we got here in Southern Maine.  On our little plot of land, the wind did blow a little but not enough to keep the Clan from completing its outside plans.  From what we're being told this morning, tomorrow, especially away from the coast, has the potential of being a pip of a day.

Talk about good timing, the A/C guy will be here today to give our unit a good cleaning and checkup.  I think we got lucky on this scheduling.

Also, this week, I should be getting my new hearing aids.  If the ones that get delivered are even just half as good as the demos, I'm in for a spell of great hearing.  You may remember I broke mine a couple of weeks ago.

An item on the news this morning caught my attention.  Area police departments are beginning their annual "Click it or Ticket" campaign.  Patrol officers will be on the lookout for drivers who are not wearing their seatbelts.  In Maine, as you know, seat belts are required for all drivers and passengers in vehicles.

There are many people who argue that it is their right to choose whether to wear their belts or not and is a decision that should not be mandated.  Authorities argue that seat belts simply save lives.  Opponents of the law argue they can cite many instances where not having a seat belt on has saved lives; but for every one of those, proponents can cite several instances where lives were saved.

My cars haven't moved forward, except, perhaps, in my own yard, for 55 years unless everyone in the car was belted.  I was workingt for a St. Petersburg, FL, newspaper in 1955 when a then-popular race car driver stopped by the newspaper for an appearance interview.

I loved going to the stock car races in Tampa and when the driver pulled up in his powerful personal car, a near replica of the stunt car he drove at the track, I watched out my window as he unbuckled his full shoulder harness.  Yes, it was a lot more than a simple seat belt which hadn't become standard equipment on cars back then. 

I mentioned it to him when he came inside and his response was close to, "Son, I wouldn't drive to the corner store without buckling up.  That harness has saved my life on the track and I'm trusting it to do the same on the road."  I must admit I was impressed.  My car didn't have seat belts.

Before the week was over, I had found a place that installed the old lap belts in cars and soon my car was equipped with them.  They weren't as protective as the full harness, but they did offer to help in a crash.

It was in the early 1960s when I came the closest to needing them as I had until then, and since then for that matter.  Gator Wife and I were heading for Disney World through Tampa on an Interstate highway when there was a chain reaction ahead of us.  Four cars had piled into a line.  We became the fifth.  Yea, I admit I was following too closely and got a ticket for it.  But the seat belts kept us in place and we were unhurt.  I'm not sure the collision was hard enough to have hurt us if we didn't have them, but they certainly helped.

My seat belt requirement continues to this day and so I'm one person who doesn't have to worry about getting stopped for not being belted.  And I'm pleased to say that GW also doesn't move her car until she and everyone in it are belted.

I hope you click your belts.  If you don't, you have a great chance of paying a hefty fine for the next few weeks.

I"ll close on a sad note today.  I read on her blog last night that the young woman who offered me helpful hints when I started this blogging business a couple of years back lost one of her precious cats last week.  She found her old friend when she arrived home from work one day.  My sympathies and heart go out today to Sheepish Annie, who is also the daughter of my Fearless Friend.


*****In Maine, if you don't want to pay higher taxes, vote "YES" on Question One on the June 8th ballot!"*****