Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54 in the U.S. More than 2.2 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2012. Adult seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.
Drivers should be punished for not wearing seat belts. Seat belts have been proven to protect the drivers in most cases from serious accidents and death. Not wearing seat belts makes you very unsafe regardless of how safe of a driver you think you are. In the state of California everybody is required to wear seat belts in a moving vehicle, and it has saved many countless lives.
In states where it is illegal to not wear a seat belts, issuing tickets for not wearing them may influence drivers to wear them. In states where individuals over age 16 or 18 are allowed to choose whether they wear seat belts, such as in New Hampshire, it would make no difference. In general, wearing seat belts decreases the risk of serious bodily injury or death when the individual is involved in a motor vehicle accident. If states are passing and enforcing laws to promote seat belt use, the issuing of tickets may promote the behavior.
Why should anyone force me to protect myself? A seatbelt, unlike brakes, do nothing to protect anyone except the driver. So the driver should be free to decide whether he wants to buckle up or not. Maybe I don't want an airbag busting my face open if I get into a wreck... Too bad. The government knows better than I do, apparently. The government has way WAY too much control in our day-to-day lives.