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First responders in Maine talk

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First responders in Maine talk of near misses and being hit by distracted drivers

 

As Police Officers, Firefighters, Tow Truck Operators gather to share stories of close calls or being injured in an effort to get drivers to pay attention.

 

 

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On June 25th, 1979, my friend and squad member, SDPD officer, Dennis Gonzales, stopped a car on San Diego's Interstate 8 for a traffic violation. Dennis approached the vehicle and contacted the vehicle's driver on the white-line side, when moments later, he was struck by a hit n' run motorist. My friend lost his life over a traffic stop forty-years ago. Question:  If white-line safety is a top-priority of the world's first responders, why does LE still make traffic stops while standing on the white-line traffic side?  Better yet, why make traffic stops on the highway at all? What's the cost of a misdemeanor speeding ticket versus all costs of a police officer fatality, the ensuing investigation, costs of all responders working the crash, clean-up etc, ... not to mention the loss to the officer's family, the officer's department and the community where the officer served? From this dash-cam video, at 1:49 in, it's more than obvious this deputy clearly put himself in harms way by standing on the white-line and not paying attention to approaching traffic. Sometimes there's a complacent mentality that creeps-in to suggest, "Eh ... I've made a million traffic stops and I've never been hit." But, what's the logic in that?, I believe are two messages to heed, one, the motoring public needs to slow-down and move-over (if they can) and two, traffic contacts and citations should NEVER be conducted on the white-line as mentioned at the end of the video. That's pretty simple, but to this day ... it's not happening.     R.


Randall C. Resch

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