Leavenworth, Kan.: “I ha ve been pulling my hair out for years trying to get my crews to wear their seat belts and am totally fed up. I have had multiple comments from local law enforcement reminding me to tell my guys to wear them, as it is the law.
“Why do they guys fight this simple thing so much? Geeez! It’s not that hard to buckle up. I told the officers they have my complete blessing to ticket them anytime they can.
“I work another job and it is policy that if you are caught not wearing a seat belt, you are terminated. I sent a memo with the paychecks today implementing fines from me if seen without wearing them in my company trucks. They all hate it.
“What policies are you guys involved with? I am sure I’ll here from some Mr. Machos, too, that refuse to wear them. It’s the law, and I don’t want to accept the liability.
“Your thoughts and experiences?”
Austin, Texas: “It’s the same thing as running a weed eater without safety glasses. First time, verbal warning; second time, written warning and sent home for the rest of the day; third time, fired on the spot. I don’t need stupid people working for me and getting hurt. It’s that simple.”
Omaha, Neb.: “Perfect quote.”
Maple Grove, Minn.: “I agree. I would like to add, I don’t think it’s legal to ‘fine’ an employee. Fire them? Yup. See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.
“If they get hurt in an accident, you could be liable because you didn’t enforce the seat belt law after you were told they aren’t using them.”
Richmond, Va.: “Look at all the guys here who have removed/disabled the ROPS system on their zero-turns, same principle, they don’t care.
“I can’t say but so much, I’ve got trimmers all without guards.
“So, the question here is, are we doing anything that leads these folks by the wrong example?”
Southern New Hampshire: “I hate them. It’s not a law here; its a choice for those over 18. I was in an accident in ’06, and the other car came right through the driver’s seat over the Isuzu cabover I was driving. Had I been wearing one, I would not be here to type this.”
Salem, N.H.: “I agree … my choice is to NOT wear a seat belt for the exact reasons you mention. It’s government control at its most intimate level, and no politicians or insurance companies are going to control any part of my life. New Hampshire still rocks as a state that respects the choices an adult makes. This may eventually change, but it will never affect my choices.”
Cookeville, Tenn.: “It’s the law here, too. I put a sticker on the dash of our trucks that reads ‘Wear your seat belt, it’s the law,’ where an officer can see if he pulls a guy over. Cheap and lets everyone know you’re telling your employees to do it. Depending on your employees, you may need to get some extras, and if a sticker goes missing, the replacement $5 comes out of whoever signed out that truck on the given day.
“Something else to keep in mind: There are too many good workers looking for a job right now to put up with idiots.”
Omaha, Neb.: “History shows you are better wearing one than not. It’s like not wearing a helmet when you ride a motorcycle or bike. Your chances of being injured or dying or much higher. I’d like to see how many Nascar drivers would opt out of wearing their seat belt in there race car.”
Tallahassee, Fla.: “Down here, the law has been passed that law enforcement can make a traffic stop for seat belt violations. And, it’s a $96 fine, per person. Two weeks ago, I saw four teenagers in one truck get ticketed, $96 each. They were hating life!”
Richmond, Va.: “After years of wasting my breath like you have, here’s how I deal with folks …
“I tell them once, maybe twice a certain way, that’s how it is or what have you, right?
“After that, and this might come around wrong, but the way I feel about it is if they can be dumb enough to not follow my recommendation, then I can be stupid enough to let them do it.
“It just doesn’t aggravate me so much anymore, maybe a little, some days a bit more, but don’t kill yourself over it, then you’re just the bad guy, you just gotta let it go at that point. You’ve done what you can, certain things you just gotta let them figure out on their own.
“All you can do. They’re all grown up, right?”
Long Island, N.Y.: “For liability reasons, I would have small signs made up and placed in all of your vehicles. I would take pictures of the installed signs, have all of my employees sign a memorandum in duplicate stating your seat belt policy and I would file the signed memo’s and the receipt for the vehicle signs. I am not sure what your liability is, but I know that showing and proving due diligence will provide you with ‘ammunition’ to mitigate the case from possible future litigation.”
Salem, N.H.: “I know the younger generations have had this seat belt thing drummed into their heads and if they feel better buckling up, good for them. I don’t accept preaching about what my choices are and I won’t argue the seat belt debate about safety. I have made it to 60 years old doing it my way and I’ll go to the grave doing it my way as well. My choice, plain and simple.
“Race car drivers and citizen drivers are apples and oranges … c’mon now!
“People these days would be better off getting off those damned cell phones while attempting to drive … there’s the bigger problem!
“I also have the seat belt warning bell defeated in my personal vehicles … LOL. I guess you could consider me a hard-ass seat belt hater.
“BTW, I don’t wear a helmet on my motorcycle either … again, my choice.”
Leavenworth, Kan.: “If it didn’t have an effect on a business owner’s liability, I would agree with the above post, but it can.
“Some agree … some don’t.
“Guess being it’s me that pays the payroll, I can set the rule in place, especially when it’s law.”
Salem, N.H.: “Oh, I agree wholeheartedly! I’m only talking about my personal choice. If I had employees, and were in your situation, my employees would have to adhere to my rules for insurance purposes. That’s a horse of a different color! The boss makes the rules!”
Southern, N.H.: “I own all Fords, they all have the fat-gut seat belt extenders that Ford gives for free. It keeps the seat belt buzzer from going off. Even have one in the wife’s Escape for when I drive it.
“People up here are not real big on being told what to do. We don’t have seat belt laws, helmet laws, income tax, sales tax; gun laws are very relaxed.”
Richmond, Va.: “Refusal to wear safety belts drives up insurance rates, another reason why I don’t believe in carrying insurance.”
Southern New Hampshire: “So, does the same hold true for those that speed, drive while texting, talking on phone, eating while driving, driving while tired?”
Richmond, Va.: “Yes, actually it does, but some folks, they have to learn this on their own.
“Because one too many instances of non-defensive or high-risk driving and the big names like Nationwide, Geico, Allstate and others like them will no longer insure said driver.
“Once they find out someone was doing one of those things, they can, and will, send out a letter asking the policy holder to seek out a different company as they will no longer renew their policy.
“Where accident forgiveness is just another marketing gimmick, one day they will quietly close the door on that, much to the surprise of certain drivers I am pretty sure.
“Because there are those of us who have already sent letters to these companies informing them that we are not amused by having these high-risk drivers being responsible for raising our own rates, and that if this policy doesn’t change, then we can, and will, carry our business elsewhere.
“At this point, and if the behavior continues, one starts down a long road of being forced to seek out ever higher risk insurance companies, meaning the offender has to pay more, and more and more to stay insured.
“Progressive is one such company who insures a slightly higher risk of driver overall, and on average their rates are also higher (at least higher than mine). Once Progressive will no longer carry a policy holder, it gets even worse, and fast.
“With automotive insurance, the choice is eliminated, we have to have it by law. Failure to carry this type of insurance can and will result in driver’s license suspension. You see, it does work out.”
Southern New Hampshire: “Actually, that goes by state. That’s another law that doesn’t exist in N.H. There is no mandatory insurance here. Also, rates are set by accidents and costs to cover on a state count, not countrywide. You may live in a state where seat belts and helmets are mandatory, but if auto theft is rampant, your rates may be higher then mine in a state with no seat belt laws or helmets laws.”
Richmond, Va.: “That’s interesting, yeah, auto insurance is mandatory in Virginia (minimum liability anyhow), I just figured it was like that everywhere, but I can accept now that I was wrong.
“But, for this bare, basic, minimum coverage that I have to have, I don’t even have anything above and beyond the absolute barest, stupid, low, basic, cheapest coverage I can get away with; for this I pay over $900 a year. As for the rates, what I was getting at isn’t the geographically set premiums (that’s another sore subject, LOL), but it’s the fact that assuming I’m covered by Nationwide and if Driver Joe has his auto insurance with Nationwide and he gets into a wreck, the money that covers it has to come from somewhere, and EVERYBODY pays for it.
“So, Joe’s wreck can raise MY rates. Matter of fact, it can raise my homeowner’s rates if I have that via Nationwide, just in a roundabout sort of way, when Nationwide (or any insurance company) needs money, they raise their rates.
“It’s a business, our premiums first cover their cost, then they cover our liability, in that order. And, when the insurance business can no longer meet these costs, they pass that cost on to us. Kind of like what we do.
“And, the fact Joe wasn’t wearing a seat belt doesn’t exactly calm my nerves, knowing this could well result in higher hospital bills … is all I was saying.”
Omaha, Neb.: “To not carry insurance and not wear your seat belt is stupid, irresponsible, disrespectful. Anyone that cares about you may miss you if you die or become financially burdened because you were in a wreck and not wearing you seat belt with no insurance. Sometimes I wonder if people in our type of work have any common sense. I see LCOs not wearing safety eye wear, earplugs and such. Just my thoughts.”
Salem, N.H.: “Your statement above pretty much directly contradicts your ‘philosophical’ statement embedded in your profile … calling others who have differing opinions ‘stupid’ is certainly not being respectful, nor tolerant, in my opinion.”
Omaha, Neb.: “When it comes to being safe, I will come across that way. Not being disrespectful, just stating the fact, not a opinion. Perhaps my choice of words was wrong.”
Salem, N.H.: “No problem. That’s your choice and I support your right to choose what you prefer to do.”
“In Your Own Words” is contributed from the lawn care and landscape forum at www.lawnsite.com . Visit them, and join in the discussions.