Positive cultural change takes a while to get established.
The wearing of a seat belt by vehicle occupants only became mandatory here in Australia in the early 1970s. State governments in the 1960’s were reluctant to legislate on seat belts. A few vocal minority groups claimed that the data wasn’t conclusive and that such a law would be an unreasonable curbing of a citizen’s liberty.
It’s hard to understate how stupid that sounds in 2013 with decades of data and thousands upon thousands of lives saved. It happened, though. One day we’ll contemplate why it took years instead of just months to clamp down on mobile phones and texting while driving.
You’d think that emerging automotive markets might be a bit smarter in this modern age, that they’d learn from the experiences from others. From a legislative point of view, they have. Seat belts are mandatory in China, which is now the biggest auto market in the world. A few entrepreneurial types, however, are tempting Darwinian fate with some products aimed at preserving that same ‘liberty’ that seat belt dodgers of the 1960’s held so dear.
From the cultural attaché at Car News China comes the seat belt T-shirt.
Fashionista drivers with a penchant for freedom now have a prop to help them avoid the Chinese plod while being free to lurch off balance in a corner and at liberty to launch themselves through their windscreen in the event of a front-end prang.
The modern protector of the people’s freedom needs a little more than that, though.
Modern cars are just riddled with safety devices with one of the most basic ones being the warning bell to tell you fasten your seat belt. What’s really annoying for the automotive Che Guevara is that those little warning bells just don’t shut up! They ring and ring and ring and RING, offering an audible mockery of your free driving experience.
Enter the fake seat belt clip, designed to let you ride belt-free and bell-free at the same time.
Simply jump into your 3-star rated buzz-box (wearing your seat belt T-shirt, of course) and then place your fake clip into the seat belt anchor point and you’re ready to explore the strength of your front windscreen completely unfettered.
The clip comes in multiple designs, too, from your favourite manufacturer’s logo (copyright? what copyright?) to pretty cartoon designs that make being splattered all over the road FUN. Those other freedom lovers are covered, too, with a special six-shooter model that makes your selt belt anchor looks like a holster. Saddle up!
The jewel in the fake-clip crown, however, has to be the bottle opener clip. There’s nothing more liberating, after all, than a few brews with the boys followed by a comfy trip home secure in the knowledge that nothing’s going to stop you from eating your dashboard – except for that pesky airbag!