Stop the Knock


That's the name of a campaign that started with an Oklahoma State Trooper trying to come up with a way to get kids to wear their  seat belts, drive at safe speeds, and drive sober.

Missouri adopted the campaign, and you can still get a brochure if you go to any of the troop offices.  Stop the Knock refers to the job of notifying the next of kin when a person has died in a car accident.  That job has fallen to Steve twice in the year and a half he's been on the road.

Two other times, he's had to notify the next of kin that there was an accident, knowing that while the person wasn't yet dead, they would be within a couple of days.

He's worked numerous accidents, five of which have been fatalities.  Of the six people who died, none of them were wearing their seat belts.  One was a pedestrian who was hit on the interstate, so he doesn't really count since he wasn't in a car, but the other five definitely do.

We know of two other people here in our town [who were related to someone who goes to our church] who were killed in car accidents who also were not wearing their seat belts.

There is an excellent chance that if these people had clicked 'em they would still be alive today.

Here's the thing, though, of the five fatal accidents Steve has had to work, three of the victims were teen-aged girls.  They were ages 14, 16, and 18.  Monday night, Steve had to knock on the door of the 14 year old's parents and tell them their daughter had been killed.

The 16 year old was one of the accidents where he knew she couldn't possibly survive her injuries.  That girl was in a one car accident and was ejected.  She was thrown up into the air and landed on the pavement.  She was one of the accidents that if she had been wearing a seat belt, she would definitely have survived.

It's senseless, people.  These babies died for no reason whatsoever.  Every once in a while, Steve will pull some one over and ask them why they aren't wearing their seat belt and that person will come off with some crap about how they're safer without it.

Bullshit.  An accident where wearing a seat belt caused the person to die almost never happens [I suppose it has happened since every one knows some one who knows a person who would have survived if they hadn't had their seat belt on…] I imagine the cases are so rare as to be statistically insignificant.

Of course, there are accidents when a seat belt makes no difference one way or the other, but cases where a person's life could have been saved if they'd worn it happen every single day.  And unfortunately, many of the people who are dying are our kids.

A seat belt ticket in Missouri is $10.  Steve can't pull someone over just because he sees that they aren't wearing their seat belt.  He has to pull them over for a different reason [traffic violation, expired tags, etc.].  It's called primary something or other [I'd ask him, but he's playing a video game… ironically, it's Need for Speed 2 where you are drag racing illegally and running from the cops.  Something is seriously wrong with that man đŸ˜‰ ]

Anyway, some people in Missouri have tried a couple of times to pass a bill where it could be the main reason for the stop [another name I don't know] but the brilliant minds in Misery have shot it down.

Would you believe that we still see people holding babies in their laps while riding in cars?!  Jeez Louise!  You can get pulled over for that one, though, and it's close to $100 for the ticket.

I don't know what the deal is around here.  Is it like that in other states?  Other countries?  We know better, but we're still doing stuff like they did before safety in cars was even a concern.

I'm rambling a bit, and I apologize for that. Safety is one of my passions [especially keeping the kids safe].  If you want to be a dumb-ass and kill yourself, that's your business, but make your kids wear them, and do your damnedest to make your teenagers wear them, too. 

I always wore my seat belt because my mom was a nurse and saw firsthand the results of not wearing them.  From the time I was born, I was either in a car seat or the seat belt no matter what.  After I could drive myself, I still always wore my seat belt, even if no one else in the car was.  It was the one thing that peer pressure had no effect on in my life [heh.  I wish I'd been as strong in other areas].

My kids are always properly buckled and I don't mince words when they try to argue.  I tell them flat out that if we were in a wreck and they weren't in their car seats, they could go through the windshield and die.  There is no valid argument for not wearing a seat belt from anyone.  

I was going to say, chances are, you'll never be in a serious wreck, but that's not really true anymore.  Chances are actually pretty high that you will.  When it happens, please please please wear your seat belt.


About Shelbi

Work-at-home wife, mom of three kids, and caregiver for my brother, who has Cerebral Palsy. Never a dull moment, in other words. No idea how much I'll post, since I'm super busy these days, but maybe I'll get over here once in a while.

2 responses »

  1. I’m 67 years old, the mother of four children (grown now of course :)) and it astounds me when I remember that we had no car seats when I was rearing them. We held them on our laps, they stood up in the seats, and we would just grab for them when a sudden braking sent them careening. Thank God, He protected them during those days.

    In 1994 as he stood beside a disabled car, my husband was struck by a drunk driver. He spent 5 months in the hospital, and only through the mercy of God and excellent care did he survive–let alone live the life he does today. We consider it a miracle.

    Read my blog–think you’ll like it, and my website, where I talk a little more about the accident.

    Appreciate your fine blog here and your obvious concern.


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