Thursday, May 28, 2009

Like, Buckle up for Safety, and Stuff...

In the spirit of Click-it or Ticket, I bring you this public service announcement.

California state law requires that all occupants of a motor vehicle PROPERLY wear a seatbelt when the vehicle is in operation.

This means that you wear the shoulder portion of the belt over your, get this...


I know this is going to be a shocker for some, as it is for many drivers I stop for this very violation, but tucking the shoulder belt under your arm, or tossing it over your head so it passes between your back and the seat is not only unsafe, it's also illegal.

Here's a little physics lesson for you.

When your lap / shoulder belt is properly worn, the shoulder portion of the belt rides over your collarbone. If your vehicle should come to an unexpected and abrupt stop, the belt will lock up and great force will be applied to your collarbone. Have no fear, for your collarbone is very strong and should be able to adequately absorb the stress.

If, however, you have the belt under your arm, the force of the impact will be transferred to your rib cage. When ribs crack and splinter, bad shit happens. Livers get lacerated, spleens rupture, lungs are punctured. Bad mojo.

If you go one step further and put the shoulder portion of the belt behind your back, you are in effect reverting to only wearing a lap belt. Now, instead of the belt arresting the forward motion of your wayward torso, you will flop forward like a crash test dummy. But wait, you say. The airbag will stop me right?

Not so fast there Sparky (my apologies again to Sparky). The airbags are designed to work IN CONCERT WITH a properly worn seatbelt. Not IN LIEU OF a seatbelt.

So, if you happen to be one of the myriad drivers I have cited for a seatbelt violation, and you decide to take it to court, you know exactly what the judge is going to tell you just before he finds you guilty.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading...


Teri Kathleen said...

My boys try the behind the back trick. We will do a controlled brake slam (aka we make sure no one is around and push just hard enough for them to jerk forward to prove our point). We then proceed to lecture them on how if we were in an accident they would actually be thrown forward and seriously hurt or killed. We have the hardest time with my stepson because, apparently, his bm (biological mother) allows this behavior.

Good for you for citing them! :)

Front Porch Society said...

A law I wish everyone realized was there to save their life! It saved mine when that drunk driver hit me head on at over 70mph. Without that seatbelt, I would have been ejected and the paramedics would have been picking me off the asphalt in pieces. Just like they had to do to the drunk driver who was NOT wearing his seatbelt and who was found scattered in pieces down the interstate.

Seatbelts save lives.

Me said...

Just so you know that it is racist to stop black women for this violation.

I have two formal complaints in my file (both stamped "exonerated" but still there) attesting to this fact of life.

Of course it is also racist to stop black women for speeding based upon a laser readout obtained at just over 2,000 feet, according to another "exonerated" (but still present) letter in my file. You just can't win sometimes.

But seatbelts definitely save lives, including the lives of countless police officers every year. "Buckle up" is great advice that goes both ways.

Stay safe!

Officer Wright said...

I had an airbag deploy on me once. I remember it seeming to just plop out of the steering wheel, never really expanding.

Luckily, I was wearing my seatbelt properly and avoided any serious injury. I walked out of that wreck with chemical burns on my arms from the airbag, and a nicely bruised collar bone. Fun times, but in hindsight, it could've been a lot worse.

David Woycechowsky said...

What is your department's policy on LOD seat belt use? Is it totally up to the individual officer, or are there some guidelines on when you should buckle up?

powdergirl said...

Seat Belts Save Lives.
A great slogan, but I guess 'they' need to be more specific and add, "only when worn properly, you moron!' for the somewhat less than clever driver.

Officer "Smith" said...

Somewhere in a previous post I mentioned that my department policy requires seatbelt use.

Vetnurse said...

Thanks for that warning now l am worrying after reading about the belt under your arm.
My dad has started to use his there. He is disabled with an old age skeletal condition and if he puts it the "normal" way it actually sits over his eye and down across his face.
We will have to see what we can do because the "normal" way and the way his skeleton is warped and twisted, is as dangerous with how the belt runs.

koquersivi said...

gee, and somehow western civilization survived before helmets, seatbelts, etc. Love the new nanny state and these fucking meter maids, er cops, that collect revenue, er enforce safety for all mankind.