OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: No seat belt, not problem for some older vehicles

Dear Mahatma: I sometimes covet old, some might say classic cars, such as my first ride, a 1958 Plymouth Belvedere white two-door hardtop. If you ever saw the Stephen King film, "Christine," that was it. If I had mechanical skills, and had won the lottery so I could afford to indulge my crazed impulses, would I have to worry about a ticket for not wearing a seat belt? Back then, as you know, cars did not have them. -- Good Old Jack

Dear Jack: We would have answered this sooner, but your email fell into the abyss of our mind.

Let us turn to Arkansas Code Annotated 27-37-702, the artfully named "Seat belt use required." It essentially says everyone must be buckled up, except for people in "Passenger automobiles manufactured before July 1, 1968, and all other motor vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1972."

A 1958 Plymouth Belvedere could then be driven without a seat belt, although you'd have to be completely daft to do so. Except maybe at 5 mph at a car show. The list of modern safety features absent from the Belvedere would take up the rest of this column.

Speaking of this statute, we read the whole thing and discovered something we didn't know about wheelchairs.

Turns out each driver or passenger who is seated in a wheelchair in a motor vehicle shall be properly belted in, as must be the wheelchair. The latter seems especially smart, given that wheelchairs have, um, wheels.

Dear Mahatma: Might you have the ear of Gov. Sarah Sanders? She signed an executive order for a promotion and hiring freeze for state employees. Do you think some of the money being saved could be used to address our state's litter problem? -- Mike

Dear Mike: The governor's ear? Hardly. We did know Mike Huckabee some, back when we were an editor in a snappy suit.

Anyone who sees littering should call the litter hotline at (866) 811-1222. Even cigarette butts.

These calls are answered 24/7 by employees of the Arkansas Highway Police. A letter will be sent to the registered owner of the offending vehicle.

Callers should provide the date and location of the littering, a description of the vehicle and the license plate number, and a description of the trash.

Greetings, Road Master: Research says Hufflepuff refers to one of four Hogwarts houses in the Harry Potter series. Characters were sorted into these houses based on their characteristics. Hufflepuffs are patient, fair, hard-working, and sometimes blandly nice. -- Cheers, Steve

Dear Steve: Several readers explained this vanity plate published last week.

We, too, were separated at school. The bright kids went this way, and the rest of us dim bulbs another.

Vanity plate seen in Fort Smith: MEANMOM. By mean, what this suggests is this Mom utters to her children that most horrible of words. NO!