The Seatbelt Game
I've been witnessing a new kind of game lately being played by city drivers. It all begins when a driver notices my patrol car behind or next to them. Realizing they're not wearing a seatbelt, they decide they must fasten the seatbelt without drawing my attention. This is done by a variety of methods which I've attempted to document below:
1. The slo-mo: The driver remains totally motionless except for the right hand that slowly glides up from the hips, across the body, over the left shoulder to the dangling buckle. The trick is to look straight forward and keep perfectly still while gently pulling the seatbelt buckle down to its clasp using only the right hand.
2. The pseud0-stretch: Most likely derived from a similar tactic used on a date at the movies to get your arm around your lovie. You know; lean the head back slightly, raise both hands behind the shoulders, and add a fake yawn to make the stretch look authentic. Once the apex of the 'stretch' is reached, the buckle is grabbed on the way back down.
3. The Travolta: A sudden flood of disco-dance moves involving the head, shoulders, and arms. The spasmadic and unpredictable movements are intended to hide the seatbelt fastening.
These are just of a few of the methods I've seen so far. It happens so frequently now that I can't help but be amused watching the ingenuity of the American driver. It's ironic that these drivers fear a $30 ticket more than the injury or death likely to occur in a collision when not wearing a seatbelt. What's more; you can't be pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt -it's a secondary offense that you can only get a ticket for if you've been pulled over for some other traffic violation.
My three-day weekend has ended and tomorrow we meet our new sergeant. My current one got a promotion and will be assigned to a different division. My squadmates and I will miss him but knew it wouldn't be long before he left for bigger and better things. This week I'll be on the lookout for the so-called Baseline rapist that is believed to live in my beat area (around 32nd St. and Thomas). The murder he committed last Thursday happened during my lunch break while I was a few miles away. Had he struck any earlier/later, there was a good chance I would have been nearby.