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  • Message From The Vice President, September 2018
    Posted On: Sep 05, 2018
    David Greenwell, Vice President

    This month I wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone about the dangers and responsibilities of driving a police vehicle. During my last sixteen years as a sergeant in traffic homicide, I witnessed many police involved crashes that injured and, in some cases, killed officers. Statistics show that Miami-Dade Police vehicle crashes are up and, due to the increase in crashes, the department has resumed the biannual mandatory driver refresher training. This class, designed to reduce crashes and injuries, was conducted at Metro Zoo in previous years and the Dade County Youth Fair Grounds in 2014-2015. As in years past, these classes proved to be helpful in significantly reducing crashes, and we are confident we will attain the same results this year. It really makes my day when someone tells me they remember me telling them  things in class like, “don’t drive faster than your guardian angel can fly,” or “remember, driving is one of the most dangerous things you will ever do.” As our traffic issues in Miami-Dade County continue to worsen, this could not be more true.  

    Some quick stats:

    During 2017, the number one killer of officers in the United States was car crashes. In total, 135 officers were killed in the line of duty, 47 officers were killed in vehicle crashes compared to 46 officers killed by gun fire and, as of this writing, there have been 92 officers killed in the U.S. so far this year, 30 of which were by vehicular crashes. Almost every year, crashes continue to lead in officers deaths and Florida is currently the deadliest state in the country to be a police officer. For more info on officers killed in-the-line of duty, visit the website www.odmp.org.

    As the Miami-Dade Police Department reinstates the mandatory training, here are four areas that we all need to keep in mind.  

    1) SPEED: Almost every fatal crash that I’ve investigated involved speed. It’s a fact, the faster you choose to go, the faster the event will happen, the less time you have to react, and the worse the crash will be. Everything works against you, the faster you choose to drive. 

    2) SEATBELTS:  It’s the law for all drivers and front passengers to wear a seatbelt. It is also Department policy and Risk Management (your insurance agent) could reduce your claim by 25% if you don’t comply. That means you may have to pay out of your pocket. But most importantly, a seatbelt will save your life and reduce the amount of injuries you may sustain. Seatbelts keep you in place so your airbag can work properly. 

    3) DISTRACTIONS: Cell phones, cell phones, cell phones! Most have us have experienced or heard of stories of not remembering how you arrived to a location because of being on the cell phone. Crashes have increased due to cell phone use. Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and its consequences can kill you or someone else. Anything that takes your eyes off the road is a bad idea and potentially dangerous to yourself and others. Just a reminder that texting is against the law and Departmental policy. Texting takes your eyes, hands, and your mind off the road. Who has control of your vehicle?

    4) FOLLOWING DISTANCE: The Florida Drivers Handbook states a new minimum following distance of 4 seconds during normal operations. The more distance you have, the more time you have to react and slow down in the case of sudden stopping. Allow yourself time to stop within a safe distance. Back off. Give yourself room.

    As law enforcement officers, we are trained to provide assistance as fast as we can to help avoid harm to property and person. Just remember, you don’t do any good if you don’t get there. God bless and stay safe!

  • Dade County Police Benevolent Association

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