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Letter: If seat belts can be mandated, why not masks?

Utah Highway Patrol trooper Mark Bricker omakes a stop in Salt Lake City as the 2012 Click It or Ticket Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign kicks off on Monday, May 21, 2012.
Ravell Call, Deseret News

Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith stated that wearing masks is a “health issue, a community issue and should be addressed as such. It should not be criminalized.”

How is the mandate to wear a mask any different than the law that requires us to wear seat belts? Why is one unconstitutional and the other not? Aren’t they both in place to protect us from ourselves? If the law can require me to wear a seat belt and ticket me if I don’t (which in the state of Utah, it can), the law ought to be able to enforce something that is also in place to protect human life.

The multiple arguments from people claiming that wearing a mask violates their civil rights is complete selfishness. Everywhere that masks are being worn, the numbers of COVID-19-positive cases are being reduced. It is a proven solution to slowing the spread. If we used the argument that wearing a seat belt is against civil rights, the number of deaths from car accidents would certainly increase.

There are those of us who care about our neighbors enough to want to do our part and protect the people around us, regardless of the law. It is sad that people are more hung up by doing what the Constitution says than just doing the right thing.

Stephanie Mason

Salt Lake City