Best Be Buckled Up When Your Head Explodes

Friday, April 18, 2008 at 08:23 PM

What do you need in a country where the law is almost nonexistent, horrific car bombs explode on a daily basis, and buying a loaf of bread can be the last act you ever try to perform? A good, solid seat belt law, of course.

Or so thinks the Iraqi government. In a small item yesterday, newspapers reported that "Striving for normality, Iraq targets seat belt scofflaws."
Later this month, traffic police officers all over Iraq will start issuing tickets to anyone who drives without buckling up. Violators will be fined 15,000 dinars — about $12.50. "It is part of the healing process of this country and of Baghdad to enforce the law, law by law," said Brigadier General Zuhair Abada Mraweh, traffic commander for the capital's Rusafah district.
Maybe it's just me, but if I'm doing a lot of driving in an area where IEDs are as common as potholes, and where car bombings outnumber working hospitals, I really don't want to be driving around buckled into my vehicle. The IED explodes, you manage to survive but wounded, and as you scramble to get out the burning wreck you used to call your car....the seat belt is stuck. Or melted.

Yeah, good idea. Shoot for normalcy in the form of a buckled seat belt. I can't help thinking that life in Iraq would be a whole lot better for Iraqis if their own government thought of normalcy more in terms of having electricity available, or fuel & food that was reasonably priced and available, or, God forbid, a police force that cared more about its public duty than its allegiances to a particular tribe.

To hell with "Click it or ticket." Try "Sanity: use it or lose it."


Ah, but this is just another chapter in the New Byzantine Empire, love it or leave it....