Seatbelts and the media...what a joke.  

rm_kymlee3 43F
71 posts
10/2/2005 10:21 pm

Last Read:
7/13/2008 3:15 am

Seatbelts and the media...what a joke.

I have been so busy with work lately that I haven't had too much time to think let alone get online. But that is okay with me. I work to pay my bills and take care of what I have to take care of. I just recently lost a friend in a terrible car accident and the news stories about it just make me sick. I know that some of you might not want to read this, and I understand, but I am so disappointed with the media. They haven't focused on all the facts, as usual. My friend was a police officer and she was just doing her normal patrol and was killed by a drunk driver. The news story that I read in the paper didn't give very many facts about what happened. She was a good police officer and a great role model for young girls that need some direction in their lives. The news report seemed to focus on the fact that she wasn't wearing her seat belt and that the fire department had to extricate her from the vehicle. Well, you know what? The fact that she didn't have a seat belt on doesn't make a difference. She was still in the car when it was hit and the front of the car was in the front seat. The news story didn't say anything about how she was pinned in the car and they had to remove her from the car via the back seat, which had part of the front seat in it. The news report also said that she was listed in critical condition. The had to put that story to bed awfully early because as of about 5 p.m. last night they had taken her off life support and she had already passed away. Then the story said that they were doing a standard toxicology on the guy that hit her, which, by the way he was dead on scene. They did a toxicology right there on the scene and it proved that he was drunk, not to mention that he was thrown from the car. Hmmmm...I wonder, was he wearing a seat belt? I don't think that the media really cared about all the facts to the accident, just that a police officer was critically injured and that she was not wearing a seatbelt. Well, I know that the law makes us wear seatbelts. Heck, they can pull you over and ticket you for not wearing one now if they see you. I grew up around law enforcement and I respect the law, but this is rediculous. Do people realize how much gear a police officer has to wear at all times while on duty? It kinda makes it hard to fasten a seat belt. And has anyone ever thought about how long it takes to unfasten a seat belt? Hmmmm...let me see...How is this for a scenario. A police officer get a call to a shooting and arrives in time to see the perpetrator running away from the scene, but wait...they have their seatbelt on and in the meantime the perp has just hopped a privacy fence and the officer is just now getting out of the car to persue on foot. While that officer was unfastening their seatbelt and getting out of the car, the guy that just shot my best friend got away because it took a little more time to undo the seatbelt. Does this sound like it really has to be an issue with the media? Do they have nothing better to do than focus on the fact that my friend was not wearing a seatbelt? How would those reporters feel if it was their spouse or child or some other family member that just got shot, but the officer was at least wearing a seatbelt? Now I'm not against wearing a seatbelt, as a matter of fact I almost always have mine on, but I think that they need to do better studies and maybe change the laws around a little bit. Here is another example of how seatbelts can be a "pain". Say grandpa had open heart surgery. Does anyone know how long it takes for the breast bone to fully reheal. It never really does. So anyway, grandpa is a law abiding citizen and wears his seatbelt. He stops and a red light and suddenly gets rearended by someone who's brakes slip. The impact is not that hard as the other person was stopping, and the speed that grandpa was hit was only 5 mph. That is enough to get whiplash, but unfortunately, grandpa hasn't healed from his surgery and the pulling on the seatbelt opens his healing breast bone and grandpa starts to bleed internally. This has been known to happen and has killed people. How would the media feel if this was the case? I know that it wouldn't be news worthy. What about the children that have had heart surgery? How would someone feel if their child died because they were obeying the law and wearing a seatbelt and a slow speed accident happened and killed their child? My cousin was in an accident and was saved because he didn't have his seatbelt on. His car was hit on the driver side by a drunk driver and he was thrown into the passenger seat. There was nothing left of the drivers side of his car. Even the steering wheel was pushed all the way over to the passenger side. If he had had his seatbelt on, he would be dead. And the lapbelts that they have in the back seat are a joke. I had another friend snapped in half because he was wearing his lapbelt in the back seat and the car he was in was rearended. Like I said, I'm not anti-seatbelt, but I just wonder does the media and the researchers take these factors into consideration? I know that I am ranting tonight, but I am in a lot of pain from the loss of a friend and a great police officer. There have been so many rumors about how the accident happened, and the media barely covered the facts as to how the accident happened. I know the facts and have heard the rumors and it hurts me to think that the only focus that anyone has is the fact that she didn't have a seatbelt on. No one seems to focus on the fact that the guy that hit her was drunk and that he was speeding in excess of 100 mph. She didn't know what hit her I hope. I hope that she didn't feel any pain because I know that the rest of us that knew her are feeling enough pain. This guys family is already telling people that it was the police officers fault, that she wasn't paying attention. There were witnesses to this. At least the media didn't try to pin this on the officer. They at least got the truth of what happened via the police and witness reports. But, unfortunately, that doesn't change the fact that my friend is dead and the media hasn't focused on the horrors of drunk driving and speeding. I'm apologize for my ramblings tonight, but I needed to get this off my chest. I was always told to never hold in my emotions, and this was the only way I could express my feelings. I plan on writing to the editor of the newspaper, but I don't think that the citizens of this town will want to hear what I have to say. I learned a long time ago to try to not rock the boat, but the people that matter and the people that care will understand where I am coming from and hopefully support my views and realize that this is only my opinion, not a total attack of the media. If you got this far into my tirade, thanks for reading it and I hope that you kept an open mind. I know that I will continue to wear my seatbelt, but I don't know that I will ever agree with the media. Hopefully my next blog will be a little more uplifting and fun.

cowboynindian2 43M

10/3/2005 6:16 am

well i agree fully,My father is a ex- policeman,as well as 6 of his cousins,I also am inlaw enforcement and work for a special unit in which gear is a must and I can tell you from experience it is hard enough to get out of the car with it all on then to add obstructions it makes it worse. As for the media? They are a bunch of idiots that just love to ruin people lives and enjoy to see people suffer,Hell look at the poporrizzi, I and probly millions of others still believe they have something to do with princess Di's death? They made a real good movie about them and how they love to destroy peoples lives. It makes me sick everytime I see a tragedy like this happen. As for the drunks family, I hope the police womans family sues the hell out of them for wrongful death and makes them suffer. Acting like fools saying it was her fault. She wasn't the drunk 1 and wasn't driving in excess of 100 miles and hour and with witnesses to prove it. They have to be the stupidest people on earth. I will say a prayer for you and her family. She is up in heaven and in gods hands now. As for him and his family god will judge them and i wouldn't want to be in there shoes. I am not a very religion type person any more but I believe this to be true. If you every need someones shoulder to cry on you have our number and email. Be strong and remember the good times and shut out the bad. We are here for you. Jason n Cindy

fyrfyter_1961 56M
4 posts
10/6/2005 2:16 pm

I work near the county building, so i see the police officers as they are getting ready to go to work and when they are getting off. When i heard about her accident i was upset as i know what good she and others do for us in our town.

As a ff/emt i am well aware of what seat belts can do to save ones life and I am all for them. You are right about the media, they were just trying to make a point and it was a lame and disgusting one.

i can't feel your pain about losing your friend, but i do know it must hurt.

Keep your chin up.

privatelicker2 53M
2 posts
10/7/2005 9:42 am

kymlee I didn't know you knew Robin. It was a sad day for all. You would know me if you saw me in person. I have known you for some time. I saw your dad directing traffic at the funeral. Message me and we will talk.


10/19/2005 9:23 am

KYMLEE, I'm a friend of yours, but I have to say something on behalf of seatbelts. I'n not defending the media just commenting on seatbelts. If I understand right, Robin was struck on the passenger side of her squad car...yes she had to be extricated, and yes out the back, BUT....that's often routine, and much easier. My feeling's are that she would have had a better chance (a better chance) of living had she had it on....I was a race car driver and did some testing for Bell Helmets. I saw numerous in car slow motion simulations on film and saw the re-enactment of Dale Earnhardts acccident produced by the NTSB. In an accident like Robin's, a seat belt might have kept her from striking the passenger side door, and dash. The human body is an amazing thing, and seatbelts CAN (not always, I've seen seatbelts kill people, but it's much ,much more rare) and often do, reduce the changes of death. What might have happened in her case had she been wearing it is that she might have been kept from impacting the dash, and passenger side door TO THE EXTENT that she did. If you look at the limits your seatbelt hold you in, reaching as far as you can with it on, realize your body and the belts will stretch another 8 to 12 inches in an impact of 100 mph.

I further understand your argument about arriving on scene with belts on, but an officer could, while decelrating, and in the last 2 to 3 seconds before their squad car comes to a complete hault, undo their seatbelt, and be prepared to exit. One thing that that limits their ability to exit a squad car is the door size. With all of the equipment they have to wear, a 2 door car, such as a Mustang, Monte Carlo, Thunderbird has a much larger door opening that any 4 door. Look at lets say a 2 door Lumina vs a 4 door Lumina. The 2 door has a door that is about 6 inches longer (maybe a little more) thatn the 4 door model. I support having certain squad cars in a 2 door configuration. Not all squad cars have to be able to transport criminals in the back seat. The other factor is their clothing. Police shoudl eb able to wear Military style Cargo pants, and holsters that strap to their leg, and perhaps an assault ype vest, instead of all the apperatus around their waist. The equipment should be placed in a more even and balanced manor to aid in their duties, but because some lines of thinking in the police force is that they should LOOK professional, above being functional...Look at the assault peams on police forces, and the special units, drug task forces, fugitive task forces etc....they never wear the type of uniform that we make our officers wear. Some of the equipment around their waists even give them back problems, and wear sore spots on them. Isn't that rediculous? Let them be more comfortable and functional, not to mention that cargo pants and a similar top would be about half the cost of the existing uniforms. I have to think it starts with the Chief....We need to let Chief Bart (Decatur) know how we feel....That is if you think I'm onto soemthing positive.

Love Ya Kym, sorry for your loss, and all of Decatur. As well, the family and son of Robin. I hope they know how much she was respected and loved in the community.

On a side note.....did you know the 24 year old drunk driving the lexus that hit her, had 7 previous speeding tickets. That's what I heard anyway...It'd be interesting to know how many he had dismissed in plea bargaining deals, or dismissed by traffic school, or conditional discharge. I didn't hear the families statement about it being her fault for not paying attention. First at a 100 mph, you travel the length of a football field in about 2 seconds. Sitting at a stop light, the light tuens green, you react and accelerate, it could take 3-5 seconds to get to the middle of the intersection. She could have looked right at him coming, but he might have been 2 or 300 yards away from the intersection when she started to go. 400 yards is very near a quarter mile...You see a car close to a quarter of a mile to your right, and most would consider it safe to enter the intersection.

Remember that same media you talk about reported the faimilies comments. It's possible that a phrase in a a lot of dialoge, from many family members could have been presented in such a way to not represent their true feelings....Let's not jump to conclusions on their behalf...They didn't necessarily commit this crime. But I would investigate if they had knowledge of his DUI, and allowed it to continue, or perpetraded it by hiring lawyers to get him out of other tickets, and or provide him the car they enabled him to travel at those speeds so easily.

Just some of my own ramblings, trying to think outside the box....Hoping to learn and make a change from this tragedy....I'm sure she would and does appreciate it....God Bless Her....



8/17/2006 8:51 am

Damn....I just re-read what I wrote back in October (I think it was) and man I'm good. I still feel that way all this time later...I think it's important to keep an open mind......Her death still hurts us all, imagine her family, and her son's pain....Pray for them....

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