50% of CA Cops Don’t Wear Seatbelts. Yes, This is a Gun Story

Whenever gun control advocates talk about “toughening” gun laws (i.e. civilian disarmament) they never talk about disarming or restricting the police. Every post-Newtown gun control law—from Colorado’s magazine limitation law to New York’s SAFE Act “assault weapons” ban—has a cop carve-out. For active and retired police. This distinction is based on the myth of the “Only Ones.” The antis consider cops the “only ones” with enough training to responsibly handle “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines.” In case reading all our stories of negligent discharges by police isn’t enough to disabuse you of that notion, what about this via governmentfleet.com? “Roughly half of officers don’t wear seatbelts even though traffic accidents are now the leading cause of police duty deaths,  according to a study by a California police training board.” How responsible is that? [h/t DE]

comments

  1. They speed, don’t wear seat belts, and they can talk or text cell phones. Sometimes I see them playing on their computer while driving. Don’t worry though, they have good benefits packages and often retire with more benefits when injured on the job. LOL

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      I dont know what to tell you except to watch this:

      The Story of Your Enslavement:

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Sounds like that Molyneaux character. I agree with his message, but his delivery makes him sound like somebody who likes the smell of his own farts.

  2. avatar ST says:

    The exemption of LE is a pragmatic consideration on the part of the antis-you can’t disarm people without having a gun yourself.Lefties want ALL people disarmed,including the police.

    Once that’s done, LE will be next on the chopping block.With Joe Citizen disarmed, Joe Patrolman will be next .First, it’ll be PC centric use of force rules….followed by making officers leave their guns at the station after shift.The last stop on the slippery slope is the situation in England, where only “elite officers” carry guns-and risk their careers should it ever be employed.

    1. avatar Gregolas says:

      You speak the truth ST.

    2. avatar Bill says:

      That’s how it is in brazil, the cops have to leave their guns at the station and go home unarmed.

    3. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

      That might be technically true of most true anti-gunners. However, I believe that most are actually anti-individual statists. They don’t hate guns, they hate freedom.

      The Praetorian Guards must be armed and privileged.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        That often did not work out well for the Emperor. This is a history lesson they would do well to learn.

    4. avatar Jus Bill says:

      I think retired LE will be next. Then active LE. Then the National Guard. Then the garrisoned armed forces once again. By then only DHS and the USG Agency “Police” will be armed. Legally, that is. I seriously think that’s the real end game.

    5. avatar Adam says:

      I doubt it. The corporate and political elites in America, Britain, Canada, etc. simply want the state, or certain corporate entities to be exclusively armed. In Canada, cash in transit guards are armed, and full-auto firearms are acquired by props companies. However, it is exceedingly difficult to get a handgun carry permit, unless you carry someone else’s cash–the ATC Type-3 permit is only given out to a couple of dozen people, mostly judges and Crown Prosecutors. In my Province (Alberta), it is basically illegal to own body armour, unless you have a ‘legitimate’ purpose, such as working as a mall security guard and protecting the MAC counter from dangerous shoplifting tween girls. The ultimate goal is a Singapore-style, corporatist society: a quasi-authoritarian democracy, extensive state security apparatus, limited civil rights, and a mostly privately-owned economy. Britain and Australia are well on their way there, Canada and the U.S. are creeping toward that model, and Russia and Japan got there years ago. This is not the ‘socialism’ the Tea Partiers whine about, but an authoritarian crony capitalism that’s already well-established in cities like Chicago and New York, and has existed in Latin and Asian countries for decades. Watch Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, and you will see where our societies are headed:

      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsrfm7_entering-the-restaurant-from-brazil-1985_shortfilms

    6. avatar William Burke says:

      You’re right. But the first step will be that they have to leave their arms locked in a locker in the station, or worse, at an armory. They won’t be allowed to take ’em home.

      And on that day, some will be smart enough to realize, “we got PLAYED, and now they’re going to disarm US!”

  3. avatar Defens says:

    Had the cop actually pulled over, I’m sure that would have ended well. Let’s see, disorderly conduct, interfering with a police officer. Wonder who would have ended up in handcuffs in the back of a black SUV?

    1. avatar Bob says:

      Who’s side are you on?

  4. avatar peirsonb says:

    Pro-tip: Officers DO NOT like it when you point the seatbelt thing out directly to them 🙂

    1. avatar Leadbelly says:

      In my experience, dating back to my radical years in the sixties, and through my motorcycle years in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, on duty police don’t want to hear anything but “yes sir” or “no sir” out of your pie hole.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        I agree 100%.

      2. avatar Bob says:

        In other words, cops are arrogant assholes.

  5. avatar Bova says:

    I can’t stand pigs, but I understand why many of them don’t wear their seatbelt, too. It is a matter of drawing their weapon if needed. I think I can safely assume that most of us are right handed. Assuming you are, look at where the seatbelt fastens in relation to where they have the holsters for their firearms. Each cop that I know has made the comment that they don’t wear the seatbelt on the basis of it potentially getting in the way if they need to draw their weapon in a hurry. On the same token, most of the ones who don’t wear their seatbelt also don’t worry about citing someone for not wearing one.

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      Ah…the ninja assassin ambush hypothetical. I guess it could happen; though it will be the ambush surprise rather than the inability to draw that will get the copper dead.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        I remember ONE potential squad car assassination in the 70s. I can’t remember exactly when or where. And none since. Probably because they stopped wearing seat belts since that happened. Or not.

        1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          There was a squad car with a Phx PD cop that got killed in the late 90’s in south Phoenix. The shooters were immediatly engaged by an armed citizen (that was out walking his dog if memory serves). I remember the perps were hit, one pretty bad. Little media attention, even locally, for a cop being assassinated in the middle of the day.

          Took a while to find this: http://www.odmp.org/officer/15232-police-officer-marc-todd-atkinson

        2. avatar Hasdrubal says:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Timothy_Brenton

          Not sure if seatbelts played any significant role in this one, but it wasn’t too long ago.

        3. avatar Hasdrubal says:

          These are just from this year, didn’t bother looking further back than that.

          Ambushed in his car by Dorner, but off duty. Pulling into a parking spot.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/21706-public-safety-officer-keith-lawrence

          Ambushed in the patrol car by Dorner, stopped at a red light.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/21668-police-officer-michael-crain

          Ambushed by several people on the expressway, driving home.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/21764-lieutenant-osvaldo-albarati

          Shot while sitting in his car during a traffic stop.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/21744-sergeant-gary-morales

          Shot while sitting in his car after stopping for a disabled vehicle.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/21752-master-trooper-junius-a-walker

          Ambushed while eating lunch in the car during surveillance.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/21769-sheriff-eugene-crum

          Ambushed by one of the Tsarnaev brothers, sitting in his car.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/21777-patrol-officer-sean-collier

          Had just gotten out of his car to clear debris placed on the road by someone waiting nearby with a shotgun. Still an ambush, I think.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/21789-police-officer-jason-ellis

          Stopped to check on a parked vehicle, shot before he got out of his car.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/21823-sergeant-derek-johnson

          I’m not going to describe any of these in detail, because the details don’t matter as much as you might think. The point isn’t that cops are justified in not wearing seatbelts, because honestly, situational awareness would go most of the way towards saving the men on this list who could have saved themselves, and most of the rest probably didn’t have a chance. One of the defining features of an ambush is that you don’t see it coming- otherwise it’s a poor ambush.

          Seatbelts usually don’t make that much of a difference, and what difference they do make is far outweighed by the risk of being killed in a collision. The point is that in a job where cops are constantly told to plan for the worst and expect everyone to try and kill them, sometimes people actually do try and kill them. Unfortunately, treating people like suspects and not wearing seatbelts are both poor answers for a very real, if unlikely problem, and they ignore the solution. Better training, and better awareness.

          I wear my seatbelt.

    2. avatar H.C. says:

      Its about risk mitigation… They are more likely to be involved in a traffic collision more than needing to draw thier weapon while seated in the cruiser… just my 2 cents.

    3. avatar Nanashi says:

      The cops I’ve spoken to about it cite a much more likely scenario, they need to exit the vehicle quickly to pursue a suspect and forget to take the seatbelt off because they can’t feel it through their body armor. The ones

    4. avatar Bob says:

      I probably have just as much of a chance of being attacked by a bad guy in my car than a cop. Why aren’t I given a pass for the same reason as a cop? Do badges grant extra rights in your mind?

  6. avatar Jared says:

    Rob,

    While the point of the story has merit, this individual (guy making the video who lives in Southgate Michigan) can not be reasoned with. I have had personal interactions with him on duty and I have witnessed him off-duty as well.

    On duty, he tried telling me that riding a bicycle on a sidewalk was illegal in Michigan, state law does not mentioned that, I honestly tried to look up with him but I guess it didn’t make for good youtube video because not only did he not stick around but they video never made it up on youtube.

    Off-duty, I saw him at a Panera bread in Southgate, Michigan. He was meeting someone there and he kept repeating loudly to the person that he was meeting something to the effect of what’s up (it was more of an inside joke) and he kept repeating it back and forth to the individual and getting louder each time. The guy is a weirdo.

    While he is right about some of the things he takes issue with, he’s a crackpot from my experience.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      +1

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Sure does sound like it.

  7. avatar John S. says:

    I understand officers wanting to be able to get out of the cruiser in a flash on a “hot” call but really just train with your seatbelt. You are many many times more likely as a LEO to be killed on a car crash than by bullet wound or other violence.

  8. avatar bgreenea3 says:

    Most of the seat belt violators in police cars I know are city cops who are more worried about bailing out after a fleeing person than crashing. Not sure how they can stand the incessant dinging of the seat belt dinger, the crown vic does not have a way to turn it off any more.

    The only time I will ditch the belt is when I’m pulling up on scene. So I can de-ass the car with a quickness if need be.

    1. avatar CoryJ says:

      I know a few that used to buckle it prior to sitting in the seat, the alarm never goes off, obvously, because it ‘sees’ that it’s belted in.

      I say ‘used to’ because they either no longer work for our department or have been disciplined for not wearing it.

      I, personally, would rather be slightly annoyed by the seatbelt than being flung from my car if I were to have an accident.

      Side note: I enjoyed his little victory cry of ‘Yes!’ right before he stopped recording.

      1. avatar Tile floor says:

        I always wear mine, you’re much more likely to get in a crash than shot at. Simple odds. When I roll up to a call ill unbuckle when I’m getting within about 45 seconds of arrival, but I don’t ride around with it off

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Perhaps police departments should take their cue from the Post Office – all Post Office vehicles have Hunter Orange seat belts so that it is immediately obvious (unless you are wearing an orange vest) whether or not the belt is fastened.

      Then set up an anonymous tip line at the police station for citizens to call in and report violating officers. Seems fair – they can pull me over and write me a $100 plus ticket on the assertion, without any other evidence, that they saw me driving without my seatbelt fastened. No video, no corroborating witnesses, just he says so. We should have the ability to make similar reports to their department.

  9. avatar Anon in CT says:

    FWIW, the horrible new firearms law in CT doesn’t exempt retired LEOs.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      And San Francisco recently passed a mag ban that bans all mags with greater than 10 round capacity, with no grandfathering and no carve out for personally owned weapons by police officers. (In California, LEO can buy any handgun available in the US, and are not required to buy guns listed on the safe guns roster, including handguns with capacity in excess of 10 rounds.) The police union, unsurprisingly, has sued.

  10. avatar EagleScout87 says:

    There are over 100,000 deaths a year in hospitals due to infectious disease, why? because doctors don’t wash their hands. Why not you ask? Because they don’t like being told what to do.

    1. avatar rolling says:

      Citation please. I find it hard to believe that all those iatrogenic infections are caused only by the fomites on doctor’s hands.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/leahbinder/2013/09/23/stunning-news-on-preventable-deaths-in-hospitals/

        I am sort of surprised you questioned it; well, go and err no more!

  11. avatar Cknarf says:

    Seatbelts should be a personal choice, not required by law.

    1. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      True. It’s just meant to point out that cops get away with the same stuff for which you’d be punished.

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      for adults, sure, I agree.

      does your child get to choose whether or not they’re buckled in?

      does your baby get to choose whether or not they ride in a DOT rated infant seat?

      just curious.

      1. avatar Henry Bowman says:

        You’re not seriously advocating a law based on “the safety of the children”, right? Parents are solely responsible for their own children. The state should have absolutely no say in parental decisions.

        1. avatar Bruce L. says:

          I agree, and if they do have an accident and need any medical care, they should prepay, including the ambulance. Same with cycle helmets. If you have an accident have your insurance tattooed on you, or carry lots of cash. Why should anyone else pay for your stupidity.

        2. avatar Jeff says:

          Not advocating a law, simply asking whether the same parents who choose not to wear seat belts would choose not to buckle in their children.

          Pretty simple question, no hidden meaning or intent.

    3. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Here’s how to make seat belts unnecessary, AND slash traffic crashes dramatically:
      http://richgrise.tripod.com/images/Safe-Car.gif

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Is it cars made of meat? That was a strip in a ZAP Comic by R. Crumb.

  12. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    Actually, I think police are the “only ones” trusted to do violence on the anti’s behalf. Violence by proxy is not as effective when the victims can fight back (or come find the string pullers)

  13. avatar Mark Davis says:

    I’m not in favor of cops ignoring/breaking the law, but the guy behind the camera is a jackass.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      I agree that guy behind the camera is a – well, I don’t want to insult any equine animal 😉 but I believe that cops should not only be required to obey the laws they enforce, but since they’re supposed to be some kind of paragon, they should be held to an even higher standard of conduct than us peons.

    2. avatar Erik says:

      Yup, exactly. Two wrongs…

  14. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    I know a cop that’s has a geared up Mustang and drives it around like a lunatic, he knows he can flash the badge and get away with it.

    If you’re shocked that cops break the law because they can get away with, then I’m sorry, but you’re an ass hat.

  15. avatar Rydak says:

    Anything Robert, anything to insult or denigrate police in anyway you can….too far is not far enough for you. You hide behind the shade of bringing light to police abuses, but your insults are personal and there is a story behind it. Don’t know what it is, don’t care either. The overall message of this blog stands to get lost in that…and this is a shame. As your reader/comment base is taken over by nutjobs one by one, open talk about anarchy and violence against police, your true reader base stops coming by more and more.

    Nobody but you has this destructive attitude on the staff at this blog, Seriously…”disarm police”…yea, i’m sure that would have a wonderful impression on our nations criminals. Like the disarming of citizens has had in DC or Chicago…wonderful effect.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Rydak, the story goes that RF was out on his first real date and he was spit on by a cop.

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        His father was also a holocaust survivor who survived a labor camp. I imagine hearing about armed professionals herding his old man off to the camps has also had somewhat of an impact on him.

        Ain’t saying it’s right or that American police are Nazis, but there you go.

        I know for a fact that one of my professors in Policing Systems and Procedures dealt with local Vietnamese refugees that freaked out when ordered to get on their knees and put their hands behind their head, because of their experiences dealing with the communists.

        In summary, our experiences and those of people close to us can have an impact on how we view the world.

      2. avatar Robert Farago says:

        True story. And not my only close encounter with thugs wearing badges in the Ocean State.

        More that that, the police took my grandparents to the trains that took them to the ovens. The police took my father to the labor camps, where he was starved, beaten and forced to endure three winters in the open. Not soldiers. Not bureaucrats. The police.

        Once you allow or consider the police to be above the law, once you carve out their gun rights, you are sliding down the slippery slope to tyranny.

        Yes, we need police. By and large I respect cops and do nothing to antagonize them (other than what I write here). But do they need to be held accountable for their actions so that we, as fellow civilians, can safeguard our lives and liberty from their political taskmasters? Absodamnlutely.

        1. avatar Rydak says:

          Thats a bit of a stretch and very disingenuous. The “police” were disbanded in Germany and taken over by the military units. Well documented in history..names, dates and unit numbers…etc.

          There are many stories of police and guns that could praise them and show that they are us and we are them. You don’t even waste a second of your time doing that…mostly another editor has to do it, and when you do, it has the air of begrudging novelty.

          The taskmaster thing…nice, kinda like OWS protesting and fighting cops, burning shit and flipping cars…works great until you look up at the high-rise building and realize…that taskmaster you refer to is laughing, looking down at the mess and making even more BS laws.Then you look at the cops and ask…why is he kicking my head in? Well because you blocked the street, set fires, flipped cars and acted like a public nuisance and a criminal You fight the wrong person and the message that you originally came with is lost, somewhere, in the wind……you are becoming Adam Korkesk….sadly.

        2. avatar Robert Farago says:

          My grandparents and father were in Hungary, not Germany.

        3. avatar Michael B. says:

          Thats a bit of a stretch and very disingenuous. The “police” were disbanded in Germany and taken over by the military units.

          Uh, no.

          http://www.amazon.com/Ordinary-Men-Reserve-Battalion-Solution/dp/0060995068/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387312163&sr=8-1&keywords=ordinary+men+reserve+police+battalion+101+and+the+final+solution+in+poland

          There were also the Orpo and Kripo, both of which were involved with the Einsatzgruppen.

        4. avatar Jus Bill says:

          Sorry Rydak, you can’t “unwrite” history.

          Then there’s this pesky “First Amendment” thing that allows you to post a reply to his post.

          Please sit down and color now.

    2. avatar Michael B. says:

      Furthermore, if you can’t put on your big boy pants and take the occasional poke there’s always the Police One circlejerk just a few clicks away.

      1. avatar Roscoe says:

        Agreed; gotta have a sense of humor – even gallows humor will do.

        Can’t take the job or your authority too seriously cause sooner or later, one way or another, it will likely kill you or take away those you care about.

    3. avatar Rich Grise says:

      It’s people saying “It can’t happen here” that make it happen here.

  16. avatar JoshuaS says:

    CA state law exempts police from the seat belt law.

    I do know that at least the CHP has a strict policy of seat belts. Or at least that is what they say they have. I argued this with an LEO-in training once. Just like with many things (no knock warrants, felony stops, not letting children play outside unsupervised) there is an insane mentality that treats the very exceptional circumstance as if it were the norm. And does so to the peril of actual safety. Yeah you can find stories where not wearing a seatbelt made a positive difference. But that is just stupid odds to bet on.

  17. avatar Anon in CT says:

    It sounds like they need a better design of seatbelt for use in cop cars, something that is quick to release and doesn’t foul a holster.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      there is nothing wring with the design. It is a matter of attitude. My father refused to wear a seatbelt–until he went through the windshield of a car and was in a coma for five days. P.S.: He was a surgeon who did his internship and residency at (then) Cook County Hospital emergency room. But even that was not enough to persuade him as to the efficacy of seatbelts–until his accident.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        I look in front of the car, and if there’s something there, I don’t go there.

        But Big Brother has no effing business dictating that I have a seat belt, or even insurance for that matter. If I’m the cause of a wreck, I should be held accountable, true, but otherwise screw the insurance companies. Insurance is really nothing but a bizarre form of gambling – the only way to win is to lose. But I once did county time for the simple “crime” of not having insurance when I was rear-ended yielding at a yield sign at the end of the exit ramp. Even the cop on scene acknowledged that I was the injured party and the crash was the other guy’s fault. But I got some zealot judge who wanted to make an example out of me, and the ambulance-chaser that I paid $300.00 at my arraignment threw me under the bus.

        The county slam was colder than a witch’s teat – it was February in Minnesota, but the food was surprisingly good. It was “four days” – drive to the jail after work on Friday, spend Sat. & Sun. inside, and they wake you up early enough on Monday to get to work in the AM.

        But still!

  18. avatar Michael B. says:

    I can understand why they don’t. It’s easy to forget you’re even wearing one when you’re wearing a vest (you can’t feel it). It makes for an awkward few seconds when you try to move, realize you’re stuck, and finally figure out why.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Easy fix for that. If you ALWAYS wear your seatbelt (as I do–in fact, I can’t ride in a car without a seatbelt on as I feel uncomfortable), it doesn’t matter at all if you can’t feel it, because you will automatically go to unbuckle it when you stop. The thing about bullet proof vests is FUD–you can’t feel a seat belt through a heavy jacket either. A seatbelt, as others have stated, can be unlocked while rolling to a stop–it is just one button, after all. If an officer is afraid that he might have to access his handgun before he leaves his vehicle, well then, having it in a belt holster will pretty much rule that out whether he is wearing a seatbelt or not. So you mount an in-car holster for that incredibly rare occurrence where you might have to draw from a seated position.

      There is no valid excuse for not wearing a seatbelt, just as there is no valid excuse for ignoring the rules of gun safety.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        “There is no valid excuse for not wearing a seatbelt”

        BULLSHIT! Mandatory seat belts save the wrong person in a crash, namely, the negligent driver that caused the crash. In every single case where mandatory seatbelts have been imposed, the death rate among innocent bystanders has increased. Having a seat belt or any other “driver safety” feature makes the driver feel invulnerable, and instills a cavalier attitude – “Oh, I don’t have to be careful. The seat belt will save me.”

        It’s not about safety – it’s about control. Mandatory anything just cranks up the heat another notch under the frog pot.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          “In every single case where mandatory seatbelts have been imposed”

          C’MON, Rich! You mean “in every state”, not “in every case”. Earth to Rich.

  19. avatar Hinshelworld says:

    In many areas not wearing a seatbelt isn’t even an offense you can get pulled over for. Not to mention I’ve never met an officer that was in the habit of handing out violations for no belts.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Happens all the time in the Northeast.

      1. avatar Erik says:

        Routine here. In particular, for DWB.

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      CA cops are pretty ruthless about seat belt usage.

    3. avatar KMc says:

      Also happens a lot on I-80 in Iowa.

    4. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Looks like seat belt stops are right up there with “drastic speed limit reduction” speeding stops as a revenue generator.

    5. avatar Cliff H says:

      When Washington state passed their mandatory seat belt law it included language to the effect that it would NEVER be used as a primary reason to make a traffic stop, only included as an offense if you were pulled over for some other reason.

      That didn’t last more than a few years and now they can make a primary stop on their ASSERTION alone that you were not wearing your seatbelt AND write you ticket for about $109.00 that you cannot fight unless you happen to have a video camera in the car always pointed at you while you are driving.

      I have seen this occur many times where the police will use the “no seat belt” excuse to stop a truck driver and then proceed to do a road-side inspection in the hopes of finding additional violations they can write up (and fine them for). And even if the inspection goes well the driver is still out the $109.00.

  20. avatar Shire-man says:

    But I thought getting home safe was their number 1 concern? That’s the excuse for tasering people in wheelchairs and shooting your dog, isnt it?

    So get home safe, cops. Wear your damn seatbelt.

  21. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’ve don’t have any vast wisdom to share other than that cops can be hypocrites. The CHP does indeed have a policy that seat belts must be worn on duty (with the obvious exceptions of motorcycles and private property), even though CA Vehicle Code 27315 contains exceptions for police officers. One of our officers was killed several years ago in his cruiser as he was getting ready to get to a court case. A gang member walked right up to him and shot him, and he never had a chance to get a draw. We can argue law and tactics all day long, but seat belts can definitely slow down a draw. I usually wear my seat belt, but I don’t have it on every instant, especially in really bad areas.

    As to crashes, I’ve been in 15. That’s not an exaggeration. One of my most severe crashes was when I was parked on the right shoulder of a freeway checking on an abandoned van. It was my third day on the road, I had just graduated from the academy, and my training officer was in the right front seat. As soon as I re-entered the car, we were hit by an 86 Chevy Caprice doing about 80 mph. I never even had the chance to get my seat belt on. It was a glancing blow, which took out most of the left side of the patrol car. The Caprice went forward and hit the abandoned 15 passenger van in front of us on the right shoulder. The van and Caprice came to rest about 50 yards in front of us.

    I was thrown inside the car as a result of the impact. My head hit some part of the car which tore part of my scalp and forehead. Firefighters arrived shortly thereafter and cut me out. My training officer was able to self extricate. He had his seatbelt on, and only received minor injuries. I was medically treated, and my head injury was relatively minor. No brain damage, despite some of my posts which may indicate otherwise. However, had we been hit directly, we would have both been killed. The driver had a license that had been suspended for medical reasons. Further investigation revealed that he had probably experienced a diabetic coma, and had veered abruptly to the right as he had passed out.

    I’ve been studying tactics and traffic collisions extensively since that time. Seat belts are usually helpful, but not always. There are areas of the ‘hood where wearing a seat belt makes an officer look much more vulnerable, and there are gang members and other criminals who have taken advantage of that vulnerability. Similarly, there are many more situations in which seat belts reduce or minimize injuries. They also help a driver maintain position and control during high speed driving.

    So if I was in the same situation, I don’t see why I couldn’t just say “Thank you, sir” and put my seat belt on.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      Holy ****. That’s insane.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Every official police vehicle I have ever seen, even unmarked state patrol cars, has undergone fairly extensive modifications prior to hitting the road, especially with all the fancy disco lights they use these days (for safety). It hardly seem like it would be beyond their capacity to design and install a seat belt system that was quick release and did not interfere with the officer’s ability to access his sidearm.

      And yet they can bully citizens about their seatbelts and impose fines. How about if they use the funds from those fines to install better seatbelts in the cruisers?

    3. avatar 505markf says:

      I remember when Second Chance vests came out (yes, a loooong time ago). One of the early success stories came from my hometown, Lubbock, TX. Really nice story of the officer being saved because he was wearing his vest. Not a shooting or stabbing but a head-on collision.

      I’ve know a lot of cops and they are probably split on seat belts, regardless of whether they are required (most cops aren’t really robots like many of us would like to believe but darned if they also pretty stubborn). General consensus was all a matter of two things; how well you could see at your 7 or 8 o’clock position around/over the shoulder belt and how the lap belt interacted with your duty belt.

      Stay safe out there, Accur81.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Jimmy Dale Gilmore said it’s so flat in Lubbock that on a clear day, you can see the back of your own head.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Watch your dog run away for 3 days flat.

        2. avatar 505markf says:

          You really can’t grasp it if you’ve never seen it. People ask me what Lubbock was like and I tell them “flat, brown, and butt ugly.” But it isn’t really that bad a place. Plain, yes. Mostly friendly, naturally. And very, very flat. For those of you who have been further north in the Texas panhandle, imagine that to people from Lubbock, Amarillo was a true oasis, Palo Duro Canyon was as grand as the one in Arizona, and Dallas was tropical with all that green.

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    Finally, a video that answers the eternal question: is a moron dumber than an idiot?

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      lol +1

  23. avatar Lance says:

    Its the liberal fascist mentality they want a gestapo to kill off any one who doesn’t agree with them on any issue they want a SS for there fascist enforcement.

  24. avatar Joseph says:

    so if attend a police adademy, get a job for a month with some 2 squad car town, and quit, i can keep my guns?
    might be worth it.

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