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Deadliest Year in Over a Decade for CHP Officers

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The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys have always supported the brave men and woman from the CHP that serve our community. It came as a shock to us when the CHP fatality statistics for 2010 were released. 2010 has marked the deadliest year in over a decade for California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers. In less than two months five CHP officers have been fatally injured in the line of duty, according to a report in the Mercury News. The deaths from the last two months alone make 2010 the deadliest year since 1996, according to the CHP’s website.

Jon Hamm, chief executive for the California Association of Highway Patrolmen said that over the agency’s 80-year history 220 officers have been killed in the line of duty. Of these more than half were killed in roadside collisions.

The five fatal accidents are currently under investigation. CHP spokesman Terry Liu said it is unlikely the deaths had anything to do with agency procedures.

I offer my deepest sympathies to everybody who knew and loved the deceased officers that proudly served our communities. They will be in my thoughts and prayers.

In light of the number of recent and tragic wrongful death cases I wonder if driver distraction played a role in the untimely deaths of these officers? Today’s digital age with numerous electronic devises has caused a number of drivers forget their primary responsibility of operating a motor vehicle. When on the road a driver should be focused on safely reaching their destination.

A number of people need to change their attitude and misconceptions regarding police officers. When we get stopped by a CHP officer who seems to have an attitude or even if the officer has no attitude, be understanding and give them a break. Consider their job duties and risks and realize they want to go home at the end of their shift today. After all, isn’t there a time when we feel much safer with the CHP around or are thankful for their assistance? Any job that requires strapping on a loaded weapon each day or that includes knowing that you might get shot or seriously injured on the job is a tough one.

I have been pulled over by a CHP officer that acted like a total jerk. As I thought about it later, I realized that this guy is simply doing his job. He doesn’t know who I am. He doesn’t know if I am simply a speeding motorist or a dangerous criminal packing a gun. He might have had a fellow officer shot that day for all I know. I suggest we remember that the CHP is out there to protect us, to help us when we needed them, to bring some control to our highways and freeways. Let’s show them some tolerance, respect and gratitude.

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