OpinionMeister

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Do as I Enforce, Not as I Do

The New York Times reports on an interesting study. Link.
More police officers die each year in patrol car crashes than at the hands of criminals, and most of the time the accidents occur when the officers are not speeding to an emergency, a new study says.

But the researchers say the number of deaths could be reduced if police departments did more to encourage officers to use seat belts. The authors of the report, in The Journal of Trauma, reviewed hundreds of police car accidents across the country from 1997 to 2001 and also found that officers involved in crashes were 2.6 times as likely to be killed if they were not wearing seat belts. (...)

But many officers avoid buckling up, often because the belts become entangled with their equipment and may hinder access to their guns. They also tire of putting them on because they need to go in and out of their cars so often.

Seat belt laws do not apply to police officers, and even those departments that require their officers to wear them often do not enforce the rule, the study said.

Seat belt laws either should apply to everyone, or they should not be on the books. This is like the practice, that ended with the Contract With America, of Congress passing numerous laws that applied to every American except for Congressmen. If it is good enough for the peons, it is good enough for the elites. Policemen and Congressmen are called "public servants," not "public masters."

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