It’s hard to imagine a world where wearing a seat belt wasn’t a legal requirement.
But that was the case back in the 1980s, as drivers fretted over wearing one in a resurfaced clip – and people can’t help but note the jarring parallels to today’s discussions about vaccine mandates.
The old clip from 1984 was mentioned on Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show as he made comparisons between the seatbelt law and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A mandate might be the only way to get the vaccine numbers up, but that doesn’t mean people are going to go along easily,” He elaborated.
“Any mandate, no matter how much it seems to make common sense to some people, is gonna make other people really mad.
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“And it’s not just the vaccine; this has happened before, you realize that right?
Noah added: “There was a time in America when a lot of people refused to wear seatbelts. And when the government finally stepped in and said you have to wear a seatbelt – boy did they get p****d off.”
In the video from NBC Nightly News back on February 4th, 1984, multiple people are asked to give their opinions on the new seatbelt law introduced to protect drivers – and let’s just say they weren’t too thrilled with the change.
One elderly man said would go to the extreme lengths of taking a detour around the town when driving to avoid wearing one, while another guy didn’t seem to care about getting caught not wearing a seatbelt.
He said: “I wouldn’t wear my seatbelt. If I get caught I get caught I guess.”
A Florida highway patrol lieutenant tells the news outlet the different reasons why people don’t want to wear a seatbelt – and they’re pretty ridiculous.
“I hear it’s uncomfortable, it wrinkles my clothes, it’s not cool.”
A man thinks that everyone should be able decide for themselves whether they want to wear a belt.
He said: “There’s no freedom no more.
“If you don’t want to wear it, that’s your choice.”
People are sharing similar sentiments around getting the vaccine, believing that the decision should be a personal choice. However, like the seatbelt law, getting the vaccine is for everybody’s safety and not getting it could put others at risk of catching Covid, causing further pressure on hospitals.
The Daily Show aired the clip and it has been widely distributed online. This is because people use it as a way to support their point or to encourage others to get vaccines.
Perhaps within the next 37 years, we’ll see a change in opinion – just like the seatbelt law.