Corzine Seat Belt Ad, or Buckle Up, It's the Law, Mr. President!

Cross posted with Alfred Ritz's Afternoon Pickle Throw

1. N.J. governor releases seat belt ad

Thu May 24, 11:31 AM ET TRENTON, N.J. - "I'm New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, and I should be dead."

So begins Corzine's public service announcement promoting seat belt use, which was released Thursday ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. The governor was critically injured in an April 12 car crash in which he wasn't wearing a seat belt. Corzine worked with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the message, taping it May 15 at the governor's mansion in Princeton, where he is recuperating. Video and audio versions were released to radio and television outlets nationwide. In the ad, the 60-year-old Corzine details his injuries as video plays of the wrecked SUV he was riding in. He broke his leg, 11 ribs, collar bone and sternum in the crash and spent 18 days in the hospital. He notes how he lost more than half his blood, spent eight days in intensive care and had to use a ventilator. "It took a remarkable team of doctors and a series of miracles to save my life when all I needed was a seat belt," Corzine says. He then advises, "I have to live with my mistake. You don't. Buckle up." The last moments of the ad then show him walking off camera on his crutches. Corzine apologized and voluntarily paid a $46 fine for violating state law by failing to buckle up as he rode in the front seat of his SUV, which was driven by a state trooper. It crashed after it was clipped by a pickup truck on the Garden State Parkway. The SUV was going 91 mph in a 65 mph zone. The release of the public service announcement comes during the annual "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement campaign by law enforcement agencies across the country. AAA says using a seat belt reduces the risk of death by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent for front seat passengers. David Weinstein, the organization's mid-Atlantic spokesman, predicted the Corzine ad would save lives, calling it "extraordinarily powerful." Corzine, former CEO of the Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000 and then won the governor's office in 2005. ___

On the Net:
(This version CORRECTS the full name of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

2. US President George W. Bush caught driving without a seatbelt

May 23, 2007

George W. Bush walking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas in 2004. United States President, George W. Bush was caught by members of the press this past weekend, not wearing his seat belt while "driving slowly" in a truck on his ranch in Crawford, Texas. After the incident, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow answered questions based on Bush's not wearing one. One question asked was "does he [Bush] wear a seat belt in the limo?" "I don't know. Let me just back up, I have seen him wear it in the limo. I'm not going to give you a report card because my ventures in the limo are relatively rare. Well, it's always important to wear seat belts, especially when driving slowly on the ranch," said Snow to reporters. Bush was greeting the Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and his wife on his ranch and giving them a tour. When he began to drive away, the press got a few pictures of Bush with no seatbelt on. Snow was also asked if the Secret Service was required to make Bush wear a seatbelt, to which he replied "the Secret Service, I guarantee you, looks after the president and is absolutely determined to ensure his safety in every way possible." Despite the pictures, in Texas, it is not a violation of any law, as seat belts are not required to be worn on private property. "On private property, you're not required to wear your seat belt," said Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, Tela Mange who also added that driving on private property with no seat belt is "fairly common."

3. Analysis OK, so Bush was giving a tour of his ranch and was not on some major highway en route to mediate Don Imus and the Rutgers Women's basketball team. However, it's the flippant remarks of Tony Snow which make this news. It's the idea that, you know, maybe the President should realize that, even though only 3 in 10 people think he's 'wavy gravy', he's still the President, and he should be wearing his seatbelt, especially with the negative media coverage of Corzine's accident and recovery. To me it's symtomatic of the same disease with this administration: we're above the law and nothing bad can happen to us.

Whether it's Jesus or Halliburton looking over them, no one can know for sure.

Regardless, I'm glad the press got snapshots of George being careless. Perhaps an example of how he's "driving" this country?

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