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SAFE Driving Campaign News
April 25, 2012
On April 19, 2012, Providence, RI, Police Officer Max Dorley was killed when his patrol car struck a utility pole as he responded to a disturbance call. A vehicle attempted to make a left turn in front of him, causing him to swerve. His vehicle left the roadway and struck the pole head-on, causing the pole to break in half and fall on the patrol car. He was extricated from the vehicle and transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Officer Dorley had served with the Providence Police Department for 16 years and was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant. He is survived by his wife and two children.
This tragedy fits a common profile: 42 years old, 16-year veteran, squad car into power pole while enroute to a call. Here are some important facts:
- Unsafe speed is the leading cause of law enforcement fatal and injury collisions.
- The faster a vehicle is driven, the more likely the driver is to lose control.
- Almost one half of fatal peace officer collisions are single-vehicle.
- Almost one half of fatal peace officer collisions are with a fixed ject such as a guardrail, power pole, or tree.
- The majority of vehicle-related officer fatalities occur while en route to a call for service, where driving at a high rate of speed may not be necessary.
Wear your seatbelt, watch your speed, and practice SAFE driving!
The SAFE Driving Campaign is a POST initiative focused on reducing fatal and serious injury law enforcement traffic collisions nationwide. For further information regarding the SAFE Driving Campaign, visit the SAFE Driving Campaign on the POST Website or contact:
Robert "R.C." Smith, POST Senior Consultant
Training Program Services Bureau