Seatbelt scam...  

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RandyNTaj
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August 6, 2014 11:18 pm  

So does the VIPD normally stand at the entrance/exit of shopping centers and flag people down to ticket them for not wearing (or they think you're not wearing) a seatbelt? Was quite odd to sit there with an officer writing us out not one, but two tickets for HER PERCEPTION that we were not wearing seatbelts, yet watching car after car after car going by with occupants with no seatbelts on. One guy they had pulled over before us...took his ticket and drove away STILL NOT WEARING HIS SEAT BELT. Seriously?

As I know the question will follow: Yes, we had them on. Randy was driving- he had his on but the shoulder strap tucked behind him as he's sunburnt on both shoulders from working outside. I had mine on as we started out from our parking spot into the line of traffic to get on the main road, but I wear a cross-body purse and unbuckled my seat belt to get to my purse/wallet and was refastening it as we rolled to our turn to turn onto the main road- and that's when the officers waved us to pull over. We were still in the private property of the shopping center, and not on the road yet. TWO tickets.

Kinda felt like they did it because we're white...to tell you the truth.


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OldTart
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August 7, 2014 10:11 pm  

1. How well do you think this law is working?

2. Can we agree that adults are able to make decisions for themselves, even when it comes to their own life and the level of risk they are comfortable taking?/quote]

1. Statistically very well nationwide. Thousands upon thousands of lives have been saved.

2. Sure we can agree to that. The only caveat is that if you choose to exercise your adult choice and in doing so you break the law then you simply have to acknowledge that there are consequences. Your choice.


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roadrunner
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August 7, 2014 11:57 pm  

My concerns with those who feel it's their choice, as an adult, to wear or not wear their seatbelt, are these:

What about those who put themselves at risk to help you when you have a serious wreck? What about the heroic firefighters and paramedics who work on getting you extricated from your vehicle as it lies perched on the edge of a ravine? Sure, they do everything they can to stabilize it before getting you out, but nothing is perfect. It would be a lot easier for everyone if you were able to get out under your own power, and you're more likely to be able to do that if you're less severely injured, which is more likely if you're wearing a seatbelt.

What about the other patients at the hospital whose care is delayed because you just showed up as a major trauma victim and need immediate care? Grandma could be having a heart attack, but resources are going to go first to you because you're bleeding all over the floor and could die within a few minutes if it isn't stopped. Or, less dramatically, maybe someone is in severe pain and has to wait that much longer for pain medication because you're there with life-threatening injuries that could have been avoided if you'd been wearing your seatbelt. I'd like to think that any hospital, anywhere, would have enough staff to handle a surge in need for resources due to a trauma, but the truth is that no matter how well staffed they are, there is always a point where they get too busy to do everything immediately for everyone.

And finally, what about all the other people who use your insurance company? (You DO have insurance, right? Because if you don't, then all of us taxpayers are paying for your poor judgment.) Those who take fewer risks subsidize those who take more risks, and why take an unnecessary risk by not wearing a seatbelt? (Those who take choose to significantly more risk, by skydiving, etc., typically pay higher premiums, so that seems fair to me. I don't think they ask about seat belts, though.)

Just pointing out that we don't live in a vacuum.


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RandyNTaj
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August 8, 2014 2:32 am  

I guess my beef is that:

1) lap belts still constitute a seat belt- case in point is someone too short to safely use a shoulder belt due to the airbag issues that those 'height impaired' face. So if you have a fastened lap belt- you ARE seat-belted in. Lap belts were all there were before we went airbag crazy- and they are better than NO belt.

2) If you have to momentarily remove your seat belt to retrieve something out of a pocket or in Taj's case- her purse, then you refasten your seat belt within a minute or two--- you are abiding by the law, you are just doing what humans do- functioning. No latitude for human function is ridiculous and tyrannical.

So. We were on private property when we were flagged down (I checked) and not on the public roadways (yet) and we have been VIGILANT about our seat belt use on island....while watching car-loads of kids unbelted, kids and other people in the backs of trucks..... along with cars missing parts ranging from a grille to an entire front end......and other strange configurations that someone has deemed to drive- unsafe or not.

I mean--- either apply the law uniformly or allow the freedom of choice. If you get in a wreck and did not have your seatbelt on--- you get a ticket for that even if the wreck wasn't your fault. If you sustain an injury in a non-wreck situation (sudden stop) and you weren't wearing your seatbelt....again, a ticket. But to say I can't unbuckle it for a moment to fetch my purse out of being entangled in it....or other rational reasons (no topless parading thru sunroofs) is just ridiculous--- which may very well be the modus operandi on Island-- but I haven't given up my US Citizenship yet to be a FT citizen of loonyville.....


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Alana33
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August 8, 2014 2:51 am  

Welcome to life in de tropics, mon!
You got a ticket for not wearing your seat-belts properly.
If you don't like it, take it up with the courts but stop whining about it.
Either pay the ticket or go to court to fight it, if you believe your were unjustly ticketed.
You just moved here and are already complaining about stuff.
That was a short honeymoon!


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Rowdy802
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August 8, 2014 11:47 am  

I guess my beef is that:

1) lap belts still constitute a seat belt- case in point is someone too short to safely use a shoulder belt due to the airbag issues that those 'height impaired' face. So if you have a fastened lap belt- you ARE seat-belted in. Lap belts were all there were before we went airbag crazy- and they are better than NO belt.

2) If you have to momentarily remove your seat belt to retrieve something out of a pocket or in Taj's case- her purse, then you refasten your seat belt within a minute or two--- you are abiding by the law, you are just doing what humans do- functioning. No latitude for human function is ridiculous and tyrannical.

3) So. We were on private property....

I mean--- either apply the law uniformly or allow the freedom of choice...

1) Three point seatbelts were developed before the airbags... So that is not the reason they exist... By-passing any of its section is not the correct use... So, admit it, you are breaking the law... If the car has no airbag, you are likely to destroy your face and chest against the steering wheel and die... If it has an airbag, it will injure you and/or kill you as you will be moving forward against an expanding powerful device... Long story short, you are NOT BELTED...

2) If you remove your belt while the vehicle is moving and within the boundaries of a roadway, you are unbelted, and you ARE breaking the law... How difficult is it to pull over and do what you have to do????????

3) I repeat again and again, you are in a private property but it is a PUBLIC PLACE... The mall owners are required to follow public road guidelines and laws as established by the state... Try speeding or running a stop sign inside any mall in front of the police... Why do you think they closed the entrance/exit west of the IHOP at Sunny Isle? Too many wrecks and traffic jams... Who do you call if you have a wreck inside the shopping mall? The state police... there is a reason for that...

Welcome to life in de tropics, mon!
You got a ticket for not wearing your seat-belts properly.
If you don't like it, take it up with the courts but stop whining about it.
Either pay the ticket or go to court to fight it, if you believe your were unjustly ticketed.
You just moved here and are already complaining about stuff.
That was a short honeymoon!

Yes... Agreed, except the life in the tropics as this happens everywhere..

To the OP - The USA is the only country in the world that has its own spec of airbags... Why? Thanks to people that don't wear a belt the manufacturers have to take consider that into the design to try an minimize killing the unbelted occupant.. You also make car insurance more expensive for everybody...

Want to fight the law? Go ahead, it is your choice... A shoulder burn because you decided no to use a proper sunblock is not an excuse not to protect yourself... I have to wear a hard hat in the refinery even if I am hot or have a headache... It is called self preservation...

Again, you are free to do as you please... Don't wear it... I don't care... This thread doesn't belong on this board... move it to Under the Coconut Tree... There, you can cry, whine, and fight the world all you want...


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speee1dy
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August 8, 2014 12:07 pm  

SO THAT IS WHY THAT AREA WAS BLOCKED OFF, I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST BECAUSe IHOP WANTED TO DO THAT FOR AN unknown reason.

thanks rowdy

btw-agree with everything you said


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Ca. Dreamers
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August 8, 2014 12:25 pm  

Cell phones? Really?

I see more people driving on this island, including the cops, texting and talking on their phones than any place I've ever been.

CD

The laws on police officers using cellphones while driving varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and, in many states, police officers are exempt. Here's an interesting and informative article on the subject written by a stateside officer:

http://www.policemag.com/channel/technology/articles/2014/03/cell-phones-on-duty.aspx

Again you wade into areas that you only know what you've read about on your daily adventure on the internet. You haven't lived on STX, but along with your friend Alana find it necessary to interject your ideas of life here. From what I gather you are not a US Citizen and spent most of your life behind a restaurant counter yet find it impossible to let others that tell their life experiences without some comment.

I have 21 years in law enforcement my under belt and REALLY live on STX and my observations where real and not some BS police mag you dug up.

Please give it a rest.

CD


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Rowdy802
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August 8, 2014 1:06 pm  

SO THAT IS WHY THAT AREA WAS BLOCKED OFF, I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST BECAUSe IHOP WANTED TO DO THAT FOR AN unknown reason.

thanks rowdy

btw-agree with everything you said

You are welcome...

That entrance was closed off way before IHOP was ever there... I witnessed two accidents... One of them was a major wreck.. VIPD submitted a request to leave only the entrance south-east of the now IHOP as it was dangerous and unnecessary to have two entrances so close to each other... The mall owners agreed and complied...


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OldTart
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August 8, 2014 1:26 pm  

Cell phones? Really?

I see more people driving on this island, including the cops, texting and talking on their phones than any place I've ever been.

CD

The laws on police officers using cellphones while driving varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and, in many states, police officers are exempt. Here's an interesting and informative article on the subject written by a stateside officer:

http://www.policemag.com/channel/technology/articles/2014/03/cell-phones-on-duty.aspx

Again you wade into areas that you only know what you've read about on your daily adventure on the internet. You haven't lived on STX, but along with your friend Alana find it necessary to interject your ideas of life here. From what I gather you are not a US Citizen and spent most of your life behind a restaurant counter yet find it impossible to let others that tell their life experiences without some comment.

I have 21 years in law enforcement my under belt and REALLY live on STX and my observations where real and not some BS police mag you dug up.

Please give it a rest.

CD

The majority of that which I write about has to do with knowledge gained primarily from personal interaction with real people. And I REALLY live in the US Virgin Islands and have done for the past 30 years.

Pray tell what my citizenship has to do with anything. I am a longtime bona fide US resident alien and subject to the same laws and privileges of any US citizen other than the right to vote or hold public office. Nor have I spent "most of my life behind a restaurant counter" - 16 years out of a total 50 in the workforce.

I've no clue why you take such an offensive stance to the article I linked. It simply offers the viewpoint and opinion of a well qualified law enforcement officer.

If you have an issue with anything in my posts then I suggest you likewise, "give it a rest" and save your knickers getting in a twist by simply ignoring what I write. Seems a better solution than resorting to rudeness and making erroneous assumptions.


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sunshinefun
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August 8, 2014 6:16 pm  

Cops on STX not only talk on their cellphone, but drive unregistered vehicles on public roads like golf carts, quad runners and those two wheeled stand up things.

Can I start driving my quad runner or dirk bike into town for a gallon of milk?

Or, can I just buy a golf cart and drive over the The Buccaneer instead of renting one?


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trainwreck82
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August 8, 2014 6:43 pm  

Ive been driving around for a month with no license plate (it fell off or something I guess) with no issues.

Just as well you're not on STT as VIPD Officer Chinnery lurks around just waiting to pounce on this sort of thing and if you even dare to look at him sideways as he's cursing you out he'll have you in handcuffs in a heartbeat. Such a sweet little man he is!

I don't think I know a single person on STT that hasn't been harassed by Chinnery.


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OldTart
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August 8, 2014 7:46 pm  

Ive been driving around for a month with no license plate (it fell off or something I guess) with no issues.

Just as well you're not on STT as VIPD Officer Chinnery lurks around just waiting to pounce on this sort of thing and if you even dare to look at him sideways as he's cursing you out he'll have you in handcuffs in a heartbeat. Such a sweet little man he is!

I don't think I know a single person on STT that hasn't been harassed by Chinnery.

I reported him to IA on one occasion as his behavior was seriously outrageous and I got an apology from the VIPD. A few months later I was pulling into the Ft Christian lot early in the morning en route to see my attorney and he was pulling into his parking spot there. I'd just had my car re-registered and was given new plates but hadn't been able to undo the big screws on the front bumper so temporarily had the front plate propped up against my windshield. He screamed Holy Hades and I'm sure half of town must have heard him bellowing away. I knew if I even opened my mouth he'd whip me out of the car in a heartbeat but I just shut up and let him go on as he pretty much dared me to say something. "You want a ticket right now!", etc. When his battery finally ran down I continued on into the lot and wished him a pleasant day.

When my appointment was over an hour or so later I pulled out of the lot and he was screaming at some driver he'd pulled over to the side of the road for some minor infraction ... what a charmer with a classic Napoleonic complex Wonder if he'd accept a gift of some elevator shoes. Hmmm.


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islandjoan
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August 8, 2014 7:58 pm  

Roadrunner, those were excellent points in the argument for wearing seatbelts! Well put. Everyone should consider your points.


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East Ender
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August 8, 2014 10:05 pm  

I mean--- either apply the law uniformly or allow the freedom of choice.... which may very well be the modus operandi on Island-- but I haven't given up my US Citizenship yet to be a FT citizen of loonyville.....

When those of us on this board say "things are different in the VI", this is an example of what we mean. You are coming from a culture that values uniform enforcement of laws. That does not happen here. For some reason, you got the ticket and the guy in front of you or behind you didn't. No, it is not right and, no, it is not fair. This is one of the things that causes many people to leave in 3-6 months. This is, in many ways, Loonyville.


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sheiba
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August 8, 2014 10:56 pm  

The seat belt law has definitely changed my behavior. I didnt like wearing it, it was uncomfortable and inconvenient.
I think that is one reason St Croix cracks down on that one law in particular. too many lives lost due to not wearing seat belts, especially children.


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Tiberius
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August 9, 2014 2:47 pm  

So does the VIPD normally stand at the entrance/exit of shopping centers and flag people down to ticket them for not wearing (or they think you're not wearing) a seatbelt? Was quite odd to sit there with an officer writing us out not one, but two tickets for HER PERCEPTION that we were not wearing seatbelts, yet watching car after car after car going by with occupants with no seatbelts on. One guy they had pulled over before us...took his ticket and drove away STILL NOT WEARING HIS SEAT BELT. Seriously?

As I know the question will follow: Yes, we had them on. Randy was driving- he had his on but the shoulder strap tucked behind him as he's sunburnt on both shoulders from working outside. I had mine on as we started out from our parking spot into the line of traffic to get on the main road, but I wear a cross-body purse and unbuckled my seat belt to get to my purse/wallet and was refastening it as we rolled to our turn to turn onto the main road- and that's when the officers waved us to pull over. We were still in the private property of the shopping center, and not on the road yet. TWO tickets.

Kinda felt like they did it because we're white...to tell you the truth.

If the seat belt is not properly worn you are in violation of the seat belt law. It doesn't matter what excuse you may have. Sunburn or being blonde syndrome. The fact that you were in a parking lot and not yet on the thorofare is irrelevant. Do you think you can speed, run stop signs and drive recklessly because you're in a parking lot? How about using you cell phone? Really?


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loucypher
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August 9, 2014 9:18 pm  

Totally agree with OT. I know for a fact they can't do that on PP stateside but not sure the "law" here. I think in a parking lot that's pretty shady.

Nonsense. The parking lot of a mall, supermarket or whatever in the states and here is a place of public accommodation and the police can enforce traffic laws there. Do you think running a stop sign in a parking lot is legal? Do you think it's there for show? You'll get a ticket for the same offenses there as in the street. You can get a ticket in your driveway for not wearing a sea belt if the car is moving.


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STXBob
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August 10, 2014 1:34 pm  

Here are the VI laws: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/vicode/
At the bottom of this post is the full seat belt law that seems relevant here. It does not mention public roads, therefore it appears that the seat belt laws apply everywhere, public and private.

Other findings:

From TITLE TWENTY Highways and Motor Vehicles / PART II. MOTOR VEHICLES / Chapter 43. Regulation of Traffic: "Use of handheld mobile telephones while driving prohibited" appears to apply only to public roads.

Looking at random motor vehicle laws, some specify "public" roads and some do not.

I haven't found a way to deep-link to the desired laws at www.lexisnexis.com, but you can click your way into it knowing the Title, Part and Chapter, or use the Search feature.

QUOTE
20 V.I.C. § 466

Copyright © 2014 Office of the Code Revisor, Legislature of the Virgin Islands

*** Statutes current through Act 7471 of the 2012 Regular Session and Act 7569 of the 2013 Regular Session ***

TITLE TWENTY Highways and Motor Vehicles
PART II. MOTOR VEHICLES
Chapter 41. Equipment and Inspection of Vehicles

20 V.I.C. § 466 (2013)

§ 466. Operation of motor vehicles with safety belts and child restraints

(a) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Booster Seat" means a seat that raises children up so that the vehicles seat belt system fits the child correctly in that the shoulder belt rests across the child's chest and the lap belt crosses the pelvic and hip area, never across the abdomen.

(2) "Center Rear" means the center of the back seats in a motor vehicle.

(3) "Child Restraint System" means any device that meets the standards of the United States Department of Transportation designed to restrain, seat or position children, which also includes a booster seat.

(4) "Motor Vehicle" includes all motor vehicles as defined by section 101 of this title, except for those motor vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1978, buses, authorized emergency vehicles and emergency trucks with a maximum gross weight of 18,000 pounds or more.

(5) "Outboard Rear" means left and right positions in all back seats of a motor vehicle.

(b) No person may operate a motor vehicle unless the operator and any passenger in the front seat of the vehicle are restrained by a lap and shoulder restraint where provided by the vehicle manufacturer which crosses over the hip and pelvis.

(c) No person may operate a motor vehicle while transporting a child under the age of 13, without providing for the protection of the child by properly securing the child in an appropriate child-restraint system or booster seat as follows:

(1) Passengers up to one year of age or at least 20 lbs. must be rear facing and placed in the outboard rear or center rear position of the motor vehicle;

(2) Passengers one to five years of age and at least 40 lbs. shall use a child restraint system that meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set forth in 49 C.F.R. 571.243;

(3) Booster Seats must be used with children who have outgrown a forward-facing child car seat based on manufacturers' specifications, or for children between 40-80 lbs. less than 8 years of age and less than 4 ft. 9 in. tall;

(4) Children 13 and under shall always ride in the rear seat of vehicles equipped with air bags; and

(5) Except when safety seats must be worn, seat belts must be worn in both outboard, rear positions and center rear of vehicles.

(d) Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be fined not less than $75 and not more than $500. Any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $400. Any person convicted of three or more violations within a three-year period shall be fined not less than $200 and not more than $500 and may have his driving privileges suspended for a period not to exceed one year.

(e) The provisions of subsection (a) do not apply to an operator or passenger with a physically disabling condition whose physical disability would prevent appropriate restraint by safety belt or safety seat, if the condition is certified by a physician who states the nature of the handicap, as well as the reason the restraint is inappropriate.

UNQUOTE


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Alana33
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August 10, 2014 2:22 pm  

Well,that should clarify the matter!
Thanks for the posting STXBob.

Now all RandyNTaj have to do is pay the fine and stop complaining about being ticketed while not wearing their seatbelts/wearng them incorrectly and chalk it up to a lesson learned. I hate having to wear seatbelts but I do it anyway because, I don't want a ticket. Meantime hope they will enjoy living on their new island home.


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loucypher
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August 10, 2014 3:07 pm  

I wear my seat belt because I don't want to be seriously injured or killed. Probably the same reason the police aggressively enforce the law. I'm amazed what motivates people to comply with safety. Your life isn't worth the cost of a ticket. Just like the friggin morons that can't get the cell phone issue through their heads.


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Alana33
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August 10, 2014 3:25 pm  

You're right, loucypher.
Can't tell you how upsetting it is to almost get run off the road because someone blows thru an intersection while ignoring the stop sign completely,while yakking merrily and obliviously away on a cell phone paying absolutely no attention to what he's doing and then driving on your side of the road forcing you to climb the hill on your side of the road (if there is one!) Sometimes there's not. Seatbelts save lives.


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DonExodus
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August 10, 2014 4:50 pm  

Mandatory seat belt laws have virtually nothing to do with concern for the occupant's well being: they exist because when seatbelts are not worn, people are more likely to suffer serious injuries, incurring enormous healthcare costs which are often eaten by hospitals etc.

It's easy to say "let someone make their own choice", but when shit hits the fan, it can easily cost $1 million+ to keep the person alive. That cost is often passed on to taxpayers.


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speee1dy
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August 10, 2014 10:14 pm  

back in the 80's i read an article in readers digest that from there on out changed mt seat belt wearing. from that exact day froward.
the story was that a man got pulled over for his child not wearing his seat belt. he got a ticket belted his child and drove off. the same cop that ticketed him went to the scene of an accident. the man with the child was in an accident. he died. he was not wearing his seat belt, the child lived because he was wearing his.

this was a true story and it changed my life. my son was little at the time and was always belted, but i never was


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loucypher
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August 11, 2014 6:00 pm  

When I was an automotive tech, I was certified to assist parents installing a CSR (child seat) in their cars. It was very extensive training and took 2 weeks to complete. I am also certified in passive and active restraints. When seat belts were lap only they did more harm than good. In a severe enough crash they caused internal injuries when the rest of your body lurched forward. Shoulder and lap belts made a huge difference. The airbag supplements the belts to prevent hangman's fracture. ( remember Dale Earnhardt? ) You should never ever think your airbag will save you if you're not wearing a seat belt. It can actually kill you.
The easiest way to put things into perspective is just remember speed X weight. If an object weighs 1 pound, in a 30 MPH crash it now weighs 30 pounds. That is why your seat belt has to be so strong. If you weigh 200 pounds you weigh 6000 pounds in that same crash. This is why new parents are discouraged from placing mirrors in front of the baby's face so they can see the child in the rear view mirror. If that mirror weighs 8 ounces it's 15 pounds in a crash. Imagine your baby being struck in the face with a 15 pound weight. Even a box of tissues is a dangerous projectile in a crash.


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