Almost everyone in the country is probably aware of the famous Click It Or Ticket campaign. This campaign and others like it have served to increase awareness about the importance of seatbelt usage and what could happen to someone who neglects to put on a seatbelt.
However, a new study from the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training of California shows that there’s a good chance that the police officer pulling you over and handing you a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt may in fact not be so keen on wearing his or her own seatbelt.
Their findings show that about 50% of officers refrain from buckling up while on the job. That’s dramatically higher than the estimated 14% of all other commuters who do the same. This is especially problematic when you consider that the biggest cause of officer fatalities is traffic accidents. Such incidents led to 733 fatalities between 1980 and 2008, and 42% of the victims did not have their seatbelts on at the time.
In many cases, laws about seatbelt usage do not extend to officers. The Los Angeles Police Department and myriad other agencies across the country are trying to improve things in this regard by instituting policies directed at changing behavior. The Chief of the aforementioned department hopes that educational efforts can help spread awareness about the issue.