I had a conversation with a former cop yesterday who told me that on a recent visit to the East Coast he requested a ride-along with the police in the town he's planning on moving too. Apperently the police there weren't very well trained in the fine art of proper safety and tactics when stopping a vehicle.
He did a little spot training with them and they apparently didn't understand how seatbelts could be used to their advantage when a traffic stop gets aggressive.
I always assumed that the seat belt laws were put in place by the busy bodies who wanted us all to be safe and healthy and happy on the roads. After my conversation with this cop, I have come to believe that the seat belt laws were put in place primarily for "officer protection."
Think about it. Seat belts prohibit an aggressive driver from getting out of the car quickly. They severely restrict the range of fire a driver has if he wants to shoot back at cops. Any movement by the driver is easily detectable by movement in the shoulder strap.
I still think the baby-sitter mentality was somewhat responsible for the seatbelt laws but it appears that at at least part of the motive led us just that much closer to the police state we're heading for.