Avoiding Traffic Fatalities—Training, Preparation, and Technology
Avoiding Traffic Fatalities—Training, Preparation, and Technology was the last of three programs in the Destination Zero Fatality Report and Program Series, a series of programs to supplement the release of the 2020 Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report.
During the program we heard from Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Katie Alexander, Law Enforcement Liaison with the Texas Municipal Police Association, who discussed the importance of proper training on Smart Risk v. Risk, preparation, the manipulation of an officer’s physical environment, and creating accountability through technology and peer support.
Determined Action Items:
- Measure the level of priority so you are not driving unnecessarily fast to a call that is not an emergency.
- Practice exiting the vehicle with the seatbelt on, so you improve muscle memory and reduce the time it takes.
- Educate the community on how to move out of the way safely and when to pull to the side.
- Traffic safety training should begin in the academy and continue throughout an officer’s career.
- Continue to provide reminders of best practices through posters, communications, or during roll call.
Destination Zero Top 5 Tips
- Wear your seat belt.
- Position your vehicle to help protect you.
- Use the passenger side approach.
- Wear your reflective vest whenever you are outside of your vehicle.
- Use the other resources around you by requesting support from the fire department and tow/wrecker vehicles to create the space you need and block oncoming traffic.
Remember, accountability does not have to have a negative connotation. Law enforcement leadership has a responsibility to monitor when excessive speeds are being used on a regular basis and to counsel officers when speed does not match the level of priority.
“You can’t save a life if you never make it to the call.”
— Sheriff Ed Gonzalez
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