Since the beginning of this year, California has had a seat belt law which requires drivers and front seat passengers to use seat belts while seated in vehicles in traffic. One would expect that police officers riding in police cars, at least during duty hours, would set an example for the motoring public by having seat belts fastened.
However, I must say that I have yet to see a police car with occupants using seat belts, this despite the fact that police cars are far more subject to driving at high speeds and, I would imagine, far more likely to get into accidents. It would make sense to me, as a physician with an interest in the public's safety, that police officers, while on duty, would be required to wear seat belts. This would certainly serve as an example for the driving public.
I therefore call upon the management of the Police Department to institute this requirement for their police officers. If indeed seat belts do save lives and minimize injuries in accidents, then certainly the constabulary which is called upon to enforce the seat belt law ought to observe it.
MARCEL I. HOROWITZ