03/02/2010

Despite fatal crashes, seat belts don't click with all officers

Police who don’t wear seat belts insist there’s a reason

By Moises Mendoza
Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON — There's an open secret about seat belts at police departments. Many officers killed in line-of-duty car crashes aren't wearing them.

Dozens of officers across the country have died in crashes while not wearing seat belts in recent years — at least 64 between 2004 and 2008 alone, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data analyzed for the Houston Chronicle. About 40 percent of officers killed in wrecks during that time period weren't buckled up, the analysis showed.

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