Sunday, January 5, 2020


Law Enforcement Officers respond to traffic accidents; majority of the time they are property damage crashes where whether it is or isn’t reportable is irrelevant because our main focus is making sure everyone is okay. Most people have wised up, started wearing their seatbelts while driving…I definitely have given my share of citations for society is at least aware of the issue and are moving towards the goal of everyone wearing their seatbelts while driving a motor vehicle. 

The topic of discussion today will be surrounding the seatbelts purpose and why it is so important. Before moving forward due understand that even if it wasn’t against the law I’d still advocate for wearing a seatbelt while operating a motor vehicle. That goes for everyone including my brothers and sisters in uniform operating vehicles 8-10 hours a day. That being said, lets discuss the topic further.

The purpose of wearing a seatbelt while operating a motor vehicle is literally to protect the occupants of the vehicle in a situation where the vehicle is out of control or comes to a sudden halt in movement without dissipating all its momentum.

The seatbelt locks when the vehicle detects an accident or when the brakes are applied quickly indicating a need to stop the vehicle as soon as possible. When it comes to an accident, without the seatbelt an occupant remains untethered to the vehicle. Hence, when the momentum of the vehicle experiences to sudden stop or change in direction there will be nothing stopping the untethered occupant from continuing on. This can cause that untethered occupant to be ejected from the vehicle resulting in serious harm or even possibly death from the injuries sustained.

The seatbelt keeps the occupant safely tethered to the vehicles momentum, so if the vehicle stops or changed directions suddenly in connection with being struck by another vehicle or object the occupant will have significantly less chances of being ejected and thus increased odds of survival.

There was an argument made in the Law enforcement community a long time ago, it was falsely believed that wearing a seatbelt added significant time to exiting the vehicle under stress or in pursuit of a fleeing suspect. A study was conducted, the result revealed that the added time was less than second, and thus insignificant. Majority of Law enforcement agencies are aware of the insignificance and as a result have implemented policies that state units are required to wear a seatbelt while operating a motor vehicle. Some still don’t in rebellion, but we are slowly becoming compliant as a whole.

Even if there wasn’t a policy in place, I personally would still wear my seatbelt when driving around on patrol for one simple reason…I have no desire to get ejected from my vehicle at speed…or worse get slammed face first into the windshield because nothing was tethering me to my seat…that is just me though, maybe I am just sane.

Seatbelts are Not Optional…