Mandate Blast From the Past: 1980s Drivers Hilariously Complain About Wearing a Seat Belt

The word “mandate” elicits all sorts of fury these days. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic dragging on, there are mandates in place to combat it. As a result, many people firmly resist these mandates. Whether it’s for vaccines, masks, or social distancing, mandates are a hot-button issue right now in the United States. However, mandates are not new, as illustrated by this video from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. In the video, 1980s drivers hilariously complain about having to wear a seat belt.

Funny seat belt mandate video on the ‘The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’

1980s driver complaining about seat belt regulations
1980s Driver Complaining Belt Laws | The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Trever Noah drew a parallel between the resistance of the coronavirus mandates and the seat belt mandates from the 1970s and 1980s. Back then, regulations for seat belts were a new thing. As is frequently the case, people don’t react too kindly to change. And especially in America, many people don’t like change when the government institutes it.

While seat belts were a standard feature in cars by the late 1960s, very few drivers routinely used them. From the perspective of today, this is shocking. Who wouldn’t want to have a safety feature that prevents them from crashing hard into the windshield when getting into a car accident? Despite this obvious logic, these drivers from the 1980s didn’t think so. The discussion about the seat belt mandates starts at the 6:25 mark of the video.

Similar reaction for seat belt and coronavirus vaccine and mask mandates

The statements from the 1980s drivers in the video are very funny. At first, an interviewer goes to a diner to get a feel for how people think about the new seat belt regulations in the local town. One driver said that he’d have to take a detour of the town because of the seat belt law. Another driver said, “I won’t wear my seat belt. If I get caught, I get caught, I guess.”

Later in the video, a highway patrol officer describes some of the things that he hears about the seat belt laws. “It’s uncomfortable. It wrinkles my clothes. It’s not cool.”

The last part of the video features a pickup truck driver that echoes a remarkably similar reaction that we see today with the coronavirus vaccine and mask mandates. He says, “There’s no freedom no more. If you don’t want to wear it, that’s your choice.”

Seat belts significantly reduce injuries and death


When Were Seatbelts Invented?

The use of seatbelts has a significant impact on reducing injuries and death from car accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes as more than half (range from 53% – 59%) of teens and aged 13 – 44 years who died in crashes in 2014 were unrestrained at the time of the crash.”

Given the effectiveness of seat belts for preventing injuries and death, it’s dumbfounding to see the level of resistance to the seat belt mandates, as seen in the video on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. In 40 years, will people watch videos from current times of people getting angry about coronavirus vaccine and mask mandates — and react with the same level of amusement?

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