This is a public policy issue. At it's core it is the age-old rights vs. safety issue that we see everywhere in society. Trust me, I am very far from a liberal but there are some issues where the government has to step in and mandate things.
This is the slippery slope that most people fall into. I like how the government recently decided that my health care was their business. They had to "step in" as you opined and "mandate" compliance via Obamacare.
This flawed thought process has brought us a gargantuan, Nanny-State federal government that has edged America towards a control freak nation where almost everything is illegal….
#1 One California town is actually considering making it illegal to smoke in your own backyard.
#2 In Louisiana, a church was recently ordered to stop giving out water because it did not have a permit to do so.
#3 In the United States it is illegal to operate a train that does not have an “F” painted on the front. Apparently without that “F” we all might not know where the front of the train is.
#4 In many U.S. states is it now illegal to collect rain that falls from the sky on to your own property.
#5 In America today it is illegal to milk your cow and sell the milk to your neighbor. If you do this, there is a good chance that federal agents will raid your home at the crack of dawn.
#6 In Washington D.C. it is illegal not to recycle cat litter.
#7 It is illegal to give a tour of the monuments in Washington D.C. without a license.
#8 In the United States it is illegal to sell natural cures for cancer – even if they work.
#9 In the state of Massachusetts it is illegal to deface a milk carton.
#10 In the state of Alabama, bear wrestling is completely illegal.
#11 In Fairbanks, Alaska it is illegal to give alcoholic beverages to a moose.
#12 In Lake Elmo, Minnesota it is illegal to sell pumpkins or Christmas trees that are grown outside city limits.
#13 There is a federal law that makes it illegal to be “annoying” on the Internet.
#14 If you register with a false name on MySpace or Facebook you could potentially “spend five years in federal prison“.
#15 In Hazelwood, Missouri it is illegal for little girls to sell girl scout cookies in the front yards of their own homes.
#16 All over the United States lemonade stands run by children are being shut down because they do not have the proper permits.
#17 In Florida, it is illegal to bring a plastic butter knife to school.
#18 In San Juan Capistrano, California it is illegal to hold a home Bible study without a “conditional use permit“.
#19 In the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania it is illegal to make even a single dollar from a blog unless you buy a $300 business license.
The government's message is clear: politicians and bureaucrats know more about how to live your life, manage your health, raise your kids, and they also know that you can't drive as good as them, so they mandate an ever-increasing array of "safety" measures and equipment to make up for people's jackassery driving.
That's about it.