Texas Officers Defend Practice of Not Wearing Seatbelts
March 03, 2010
Law officers from a variety of Texas agencies told the Houston Chronicle that seat belts can hinder them, despite national highway statistics showing that many officers killed in vehicle accidents weren't wearing them.
Dozens of officers across the country have died in crashes while not wearing seat belts in recent years—at least 64 between 2004 and 2008, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
About 40 percent of officers killed in wrecks during that time period weren't buckled up, the analysis showed.
Officers and administrators told the media outlet that police culture can sometimes discourage seatbelt use. Also, officers worry their belts could hinder them if they have to exit quickly to confront a suspect because a seat belt can easily get tangled on a holster. Others said they'll be unable to control violent prisoners while buckled up.
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gclemmer @ 3/4/2010 7:34 PM
Bottomline if cops are not wearing their seatbelts, they are WRONG! Statistically you are FAR more likely to be killed because you didn’t have it on and not from “being trapped.” I have reviewed every officer death in the U.S. for nearly 20 years and I would say those officers who were killed while still seated in their car suffered more from poor positioning then from being trapped in a seatbelt. It is a training issue! Train yourself to have it off at low speeds (parking lots, apartment complexes, or going on scene) and once the car is going more than 15 MPH putting it back on should be automatic. What next, we will stop snapping our gun in our holster so it won't get stuck when we try to draw it?
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