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First responder seatbelt safety

Listen as risk management expert Gordon Graham describes the dangers of not using a seat belt and all first responders’ responsibility to arrive safely

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Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for everyone in public safety and it deals with: WEARING YOUR SEATBELT!

Seriously, here’s the bottom line. If you’re in a crash, wearing your seat belt is the single most effective step you can take to ensure your safety.

I’m continually astounded, I am amazed, I am outraged by the number of first responders, allegedly smart people, who are injured or killed every year in crashes from not wearing their seat belts. WHY? I’ve heard it all. “Wearing it slows my reaction time.” “What if I’m trapped in the vehicle?” These are excuses – or at best, unfounded fears – that aren’t backed up by the numbers.

Nationwide, almost 50% of people killed in car crashes were unrestrained. The NHTSA estimates that seat belts saved almost 15,000 lives in 2017 alone. Based on those numbers, the use of seat belts could have saved an additional 2,549 people that same year. Tragic, to say the least! People are not wearing their seatbelts.

You know, wearing a seat belt just makes sense. Remember that old saying about motorcycle riders? There are two kinds of motor riders: Those who have been down and those who are going down.

We can say the same thing about driving emergency vehicles. As a motor cop, I never had the option of wearing a seat belt. But if you’re driving anything other than a motorcycle, you have enhanced safety measures at your disposal – including your seatbelt.

So, the next time you get into your vehicle, buckle up your seat belt. And leave it on until you’re ready to get out. Take this quick, easy, and painless step to make sure you go home safe.

In closing, how many times have I heard this, from smart people. “Gordon, I am exempt from the laws requiring a seatbelt.” Well that might be true my friend, but you are never exempt from the laws of physics.

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off.

Gordon Graham has been actively involved in law enforcement since 1973. He spent nearly 10 years as a very active motorcycle officer while also attending Cal State Long Beach to achieve his teaching credential, USC to do his graduate work in Safety and Systems Management with an emphasis on Risk Management, and Western State University to obtain his law degree. In 1982 he was promoted to sergeant and also admitted to the California State Bar and immediately opened his law offices in Los Angeles.
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