Thursday, 23 December 2010

Sarah Palin Breaks the Law. And Has No Common Sense.

Guest Post by Joe Christmas

In Sarah Palin's Alaska, her TLC TV show, the children are clearly unrestrained in moving vehicles -- in clear noncompliance with the statutes of the state of Alaska. The reality of her show is that Sarah Palin is a lawbreaker. What she so contemptuously shows is that she and her family are above the law. She has demonstrated values that are illegal, nonsensical and reckless.

Alaska law says that a driver may not transport children under 16 in a motor vehicle unless the child is properly secured according to state child passenger safety law. Children who are not yet one year old or who do not yet weigh 20 lbs must be properly secured in a federally approved rear-facing car seat.

It is quite clear that from 4.12 onwards that Piper is jumping up and down in the RV while the vehicle is in motion, so she cannot be safely belted up. From 11.07 Trig is also seen standing on the sofa seat without a seatbelt.

There is no doubt that Palin has disregarded state law -- and it is a primary offense. Glaringly, arrogantly, and unapologetically. She can argue, if she wants, that seat belt laws are burdensome and intrusive -- but maybe she should have changed the laws before she quit as governor! Aren't commonsense conservatives all about the rule of law? Does this mean because I don't like speed limits I can do 125 mph in school zones? Or I won't pay taxes because I don't support endless wars?

As far as I am concerned she has been caught red handed. But it's not the first time. Fellow reader, mxm, pulled this little excerpt from the September 7, 2008 edition of the Washington Post:

WASILLA, Alaska -- One Friday in June, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined the chief of the state prison system on a tour of the Point MacKenzie Correctional Farm, a 90-minute drive north of Anchorage. It was a routine visit but for the presence of the governor's infant son, Trig.
Palin held her baby in her arms as the warden drove a short distance around the facility, said corrections director Joe Schmidt, who sat next to Palin. A few days later, the governor got a warning from her public safety commissioner that someone had complained that she did not strap Trig into a car seat for the ride.
Palin dismissed the complaint as petty, and the commissioner, whom she appointed, took no formal action. But the incident shows the degree to which family and politics are bound together in Palin's career

So that will be her excuse: it's petty. Well…it's NOT petty, or trivial, or draconian, or unreasonable. This is a subject that I know something about.

I have worked as an emergency medicine physician for almost 25 years now -- mostly at Level 1 trauma centers. I have watched the seat belt issue progress, yes progress, over the span of my career. When I started out as an intern in a busy trauma center in Pittsburgh, there was no seat belt law in Pennsylvania. Roughly, 30% of drivers wore their seat belts at that time. Nightly, grimly, we would see devastating head and neck injuries as the result of motor vehicle accidents. Now, as the result of seat belt laws, and the remarkable, transformative acceptance of this simple habit, I rarely see head or neck injuries as the results of car accidents. Where I live in Virginia, upwards of 96% of drivers are restrained. Now, I take care of people, several times a day, who will be stiff and sore for a few days, but, importantly and humanely, they walk out of the ER. SEAT BELTS SAVE HEADS, NECKS AND LIVES. No one can deny that simple fact. And that is why even our stodgy legislatures have passed these essential laws. And if you don't believe me, here are the cold equations. My #1 Rule of Emergency Medicine has been for the last 20 years: Humans Don't Make Good Projectiles.

There is another place in history where fame, politics and seat belts intersect. Another character imbued with celebrity, luck and intrigue. But ultimately her death was attributable to one simple fact: she was NOT wearing a seat belt. It wasn't the CIA, the Queen, the Saudi's, or the paparazzi. What killed Princess Di was the fact she wasn't restrained. She flew across the back of the limo thus tearing her aorta from its roots. The only survivor in the car was the bodyguard who was restrained -- albeit he did a poor job in not ensuring his charge was buckled up. So it goes: Humans Do Not Make Good Projectiles.

So Sarah, this isn't some little petty, government intrusion. This is serious as a heart attack business. Being dismissive of something that most every normal kid in this country does as effortlessly as zipping their jeans is wrong. For someone who professes commonsense, the vast majority of Americans know something, and practice daily, what Sarah Palin flagrantly and illegally ignores -- nearly 90% of children wear their seat belts. Yet, here is the clear cut evidence that Sarah Palin thinks she is above the law of Alaska. Shame on you Sarah Palin; for even if you claim these were staged car rides, what kind of image are you projecting? Ignorance or scofflaw?


Our reader Maelewis found this, which leaves no room for debate regarding the safety of passengers traveling in RVs in Alaska:

Here are some Rules of the Road for Alaska, regarding RVs:

Rules of the Road, 2007
ALASKA: Maximum RV width 102 in.; maximum motorhome length 45 ft.; maximum trailer length 40 ft.; maximum length of two-vehicle combination 75 ft. Overnight parking in rest areas allowed, unless posted. RV Safety Requirements: All RVs: flares or reflective signs, fire extinguisher and gas detector. Over 3,000 lbs.: trailer brakes, breakaway switch and safety chains. Driving Laws: Headlight use required on designated highways. Right turn on red permitted, unless posted otherwise. All passengers must wear seat belts; child-restraint safety seats are required for children up to age 4. More Information: Alaska State Troopers, 5700 E. Tudor, Anchorage AK 99507. Emergency number: 911, or *273 on cellular phones.

I'll repeat the important line: All passengers must wear seat belts; child-restraint safety seats are required for children up to 4 years old


MicMac sent us this photo, which illustrates Sarah Palin's hypocrisy or sheer disregard for the bill she signed into law...


Blueberrytart suggested including a screenshot of Piper not wearing a seatbelt:

(Note: These updates are being added by Regina while Patrick and Kathleen enjoy a well deserved break.)

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