Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "The rise of localism," March 12, 2011

Worn out argument

A literal-minded Kansas man did not persuade a municipal judge with his attempt to skirt local seat-belt laws. Paul Weigand was in court in Wichita, Kan., on Feb. 10 with a ticket for not wearing his seat belt with an unusual argument. According to Weigand, he was wearing a seat belt-just as a belt-and police confirmed it wasn't actually attached to his car. This, Weigand argued, satisfied the local seat-belt law. The prosecutor admitted that the law said only that a seat belt had to be worn-and nothing about its attachment to the vehicle-but argued that the spirit of the law was to keep car passengers safe. The judge then asked Weigand if his accessory would keep him safe. When he said it would not, she fined him $30 plus court costs.

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