Wow! What an exciting time it is as technology is helping to keep law enforcement officers and members of the public safer!
The whole world seems to be talking about autonomous driving these days, and company after company is jumping into the effort to have self-driving vehicles to one degree or another. Even if you ignore the completely self-driving configurations, just think of how far automobile technology has advanced in the last decade – many new cars have features such as self-braking regardless of who, if anyone, is driving the vehicle.
At the Florida Sheriffs Risk Management Fund, we are keenly aware of issues with driving as, unfortunately, the typical law enforcement driver does the same things that members of the general public do. For instance, officers start to move through an intersection with the vehicle ahead of them and then don’t realize when that vehicle decides to stop, for some reason, and the officer hits the back of the vehicle. Or officers drive in dark areas and don’t see posts or poles, etc., and collide with those objects. Or officers simply fall prey to other distractions and unintentionally and unexpectedly veer off the roadway and strike mail boxes or culverts, etc. What is most surprising is that more accidents involving officers don’t occur in light of the many distractions they face, such as watching out for people committing crimes and doing no good!
The Fund is actively studying both automobile accidents and technology in an effort to help Sheriffs’ Offices identify tools they can deploy to help keep citizens, as well as their officers and employees, safe. Remember, when there is an automobile accident, there is often an officer or employee injury and no one wants to cut their career short because of an automobile accident.
So, you’ve heard this song and dance from us before. Why do we keep repeating it? Because law enforcement officers and employees are important to us, and protecting them and the members of the public is of paramount importance. After all, isn’t a primary responsibility of law enforcement to “serve and protect?” With that in mind, once again we want to stress the tenants of Below 100. Specifically, wear your seatbelt. Watch your speed. And what’s important now? The answer to that last question is that you get safely home to your families at the end of your shift and the citizens of your county are spared from unnecessary harm and pain due to poor driving habits on your part.
For more information on FSRMF’s services and coverage, give us a call at 850-320-6880.