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Would Seatbelts Have Saved Their Lives?
September 23, 2013
Recently two more officers died from vehicle collisions during which they were not wearing seatbelts.
Charles Parish Louisiana Sheriff's Deputy, Jeff Watson, was killed while responding to assist at the scene of another vehicle collision. He was traveling with his emergency lights activated when an oncoming vehicle attempted to make a left turn in front of him. Deputy Watson, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, attempted to avoid a collision but sideswiped the vehicle and then struck an additional vehicle head-on. Photos show the passenger compartment of the patrol vehicle was intact.
Okfuskee County Oklahoma Sheriff's Deputy, David Allford, was responding to an "officer needs assistance" call. One of the tires on his Chevy Tahoe patrol vehicle blew out causing him to lose control. The vehicle ran off the highway, hit a cable barrier and rolled over. Deputy Allford, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.
There is a strong likelihood that these were both survivable collisions, had the officers been wearing their seatbelts at the time.
Remember - without a seatbelt you are you are almost three times more likely to die in a vehicle collision. 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, Bureau Chief
Center for Leadership Development