Cranston drivers beware! The city fundraisers - or as they are commonly refereed to as - the police have been in full force most of this past month. What are they looking for? Suspicious behavior? Criminal activity? Oh, the contrary - the Cranston PD are in full force chest flexing pursuit of Susie home maker and you average hard working Joe American. Why are they preying on Cranston's fine hard working citizens?
Seat belts! Yes those annoying restraints that have been proven to save lives. The tough guy patrol with their blacked out SUVs and overwhelming sense of ego are pulling over anybody and everybody without a seat belt. Yes, if you are not wearing a safety belt you are in violation. Yet, considering the times we are living in, the chaos ensuing in other American cities shouldn't this be the time that local police take a face turn? Shouldn't they be working in a positive public relation spin as opposed to frustrating their community with ridiculous $40 tickets?
Naturally, I recently fell under the judgement of a local officer for not wearing my seat belt. He was respectful and professional, I must admit. However, I still believe his and the department's actions are plain silly. Seconds after being pulled over, I noticed (as I always do) a number of drivers operating their cars with seat belts but also while on their cell phones talking and texting. Isn't that far more dangerous?
I reached out to the good old boys at the Cranston PD before publishing this piece and they denied a comment but did take pleasure and reminding me that "it's against the law not to wear your seat belt, sir."
Thanks, officer personality!
Maybe she should read the study conducted by Driver Safety Education. It states that texting while driving creates a risk 23 times worse than driving without any cell phone distraction.
The study also states that drivers talking or texting can miss seeing up to 50 percent of their driving environment, a phenomenon known as “inattention blindness.” At any time there are more than half a million drivers in the US on their phones while operating a motor vehicle. In 2012, 421,000 people were injured in car crashes because one or more of the operators were texting or using their phones. Another 3,328 were killed.
Yet, I and half my fellow Cranston citizens are being harassed over safety belts. Perhaps it's due to the reality that the police are just as guilty when comes to cell phone use behind the wheel - or more than likely - it's just another case of police laziness. It's easy to harass Susie or Joe for something obvious like a belt, because there is no grey area - and more importantly it helps fund all those cool blacked out SUVs.
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