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“On his way home Tuesday from Jim Plain Elementary School in Leander, fourth-grader Marshall May, sitting in the passenger seat of the family minivan, was ticketed for not wearing his seat belt properly,” reported the Austin American-Statesman.

The story continued with: “Problem is, Texas law says a person must be at least 15 years old to commit such an offense. If a child isn’t properly secured by a seat belt, the adult in the car would be at fault, according to the law. But Marshall’s aunt, Ashley Arredondo, 19, who was driving, didn’t receive a ticket. “I was really scared, I could tell you that,” Marshall said Thursday. “I didn’t know what to do.” He made me sign my signature, but I don’t have a signature because I’m 10 years old.” Instead, Marshall printed his full name,” the paper reported.

The focus on this story is all about how the ignorant-of-the-law policeman wrote a ticket to a fourth-grader but, it shouldn’t be. This story should suggest two things which are quite important but sadly overlooked.

First, we have far too many laws. So many that even the professionals we hire to enforce the law are very often ignorant of our statutes. That clearly indicates that citizens can’t easily know the law either.

And second, seat belt laws are a particularly offensive example of overly intrusive government. Government is to protect the lives of the innocent – from the actions of others, not to protect a sane person from himself. Such laws create an open invitation for government control of all aspects of life but, Texans just keep rolling over and accepting more and more government intrusion, along with diminished Liberty, all for dubious promises of security and safety.

Robert Pratt is host of the top-rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at www.PrattonTexas.com

© 2011 Pratt on Texas