Eric Townsend (letters, Feb. 2) presents the “my not having a seat belt on endangers no one but me” defense after receiving a ticket. I disagree.

If he has an accident and is injured worse than he would have been when protected by a seat belt, it factors into the calculation of everyone’s insurance rates. If he’s injured or killed in an accident with me, I suffer the mental discomfort of having been a party to that, regardless of fault. If he’s in an accident, the costs for the police, fire and medical response that will be required may all be greater because he wasn’t belted in.

And if he wasn’t insured, his treatment and possibly long-term care become a public burden than can amount to more than a million dollars.

So no, the seat belt law is not “Big Brother” and it’s not a question of it being for your own good. It’s for the greater good. Same argument applies to motorcyclists who want to ride without a helmet. It is not just all about you.

Brian Weiss