There should be a Master's Thesis on the evolution of tyranny in this country.
Just read the major newspapers between 1955 and 1965, when installation of seat belts was made mandatory for the manufacturers, but wearing them would NEVER be mandatory.
The persuasion was based entirely on the survival instincts of the average person, in having the option of wearing them. If the heavy boot of the wannabe tyrants had suggested otherwise, the bill would have never passéd. Now, it's just another "revenue enhancement."
Just like the Income Tax, but that's another story...
Remember the friendly, catchy little "Buckle Up For Safety!" jingle?
Now, the commercial is the gravel-voiced JackBoot: "KlickItErTicket!!!"
We've come a long way, baby - on the road to tyranny, as you said, publius.