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Changing Attitudes... Improving Training... Increasing Accountability... Mobilizing Leadership...

Not Wearing Seat Belts Can be a Fatal Mistake

October 16, 2012Subscribe to Emails

A recent article in the Washington Post reminds us that in this era of when traffic fatalities kill more law enforcement officers than bullets do, not wearing your seatbelt can be a fatal mistake.

The author discusses a number of recent traffic-related line-of-duty deaths and cites facts drawn from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, Characteristics of Law Enforcement Officers’ Fatalities in Motor Vehicle Crashes, including:  

  • 139 officers died when ejected from their vehicles in crashes between 1980 and 2008.
  • Only 45 percent of the 733 officers who died in crashes during that period had their seatbelts fastened.

Geoffrey Alpert, a University of South Carolina professor who has studied high-risk police activities for more than 25 years and is a member of the SAFE Driving Campaign Research Team, is quoted saying, “We've been told it’s ‘I want to be able to get out of the car quickly, it interferes with my gun or it interferes with my belt, it interferes with my driving.’ All the wrong reasons… One of the solutions is to convince officers that it (seatbelts) doesn't really impede your ability to do your work and the incredible safety net it provides for you.”

Read the article: For Police Not Wearing Seat Belts Can Be Fatal Mistake

And don't forget to view the Emmy-nominated POST video “Did You Know? Choices” concerning seatbelt safety. This brief “must see” video is perfect for roll call training and underscores why seatbelts truly matter.

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
(916) 227-3902

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