So it seems that many of the Hawaii fans have a problem with McGarrett and Danno not wearing seat belts during high-speed chases, or when they have a perp tied to the hood of their car, or when they are squabbling like an old married couple while in pursuit. Specifically, I think our popular TV news anchor, Joe Moore, who has a seat belt comment almost every time I flip over to hear his post-Five-0 comments on the 10:00 Monday night news, has the biggest problem. Joe, like many of us watching, want to know why the Five-0 team seem to not wear seat belts.
Well, in the severed head episode, Chin Ho and Kono were wearing seat belts, but Kono is the rookie and I know they feel compelled to protect their delicate Five-0 team flower. Danno did ask Kamekona if he had seat belts in his car when he was going to take Grace to higher ground during the tsunami episode. I thought that was hilarious. I mean, why now, Danno? You never wear one. But again, it was a female who needed to wear a seat belt. Does that mean only ladies need to wear the belts, gents?
In Hawaii, the law is that the driver and passenger must wear a seat belt, and any person under the age of 17 has to wear a seat belt in the back seat, or risk getting a ticket. We call it “Click it, or Ticket” here in Hawaii. Not sure if it’s the same in other states, but I bet it’s similar.
According to my insider on the police force, officers are required to wear seat belts while on duty. Basically, it is a liability issue for all government employees, especially if they get into an accident while working in a county-owned vehicle. “Officer Real Five-0” also said that he felt “police are held to a higher standard of conduct, and it only makes sense that we abide by the same laws and set the example.”
Now, that being said, there is an exemption to that requirement. And this, I hope, will help all of the Five-0 fans and Joe Moore. The exemption to the law is, of course, emergency vehicles. “Emergency vehicle” means an ambulance, a fire-fighting or rescue vehicle, or a police vehicle while on duty. So McGarrett and Danno speeding around Oahu without seat belts is completely okay. Sorry, Joe, they’re on duty, on official Five-0 business, so they do not need to wear the belts. No click it or ticket for the Five-0 Team.
And finally tonight, the next question is about cell phones. And yes, like the belts, police officers are also exempt from the law while on duty. So Steve, Danno, Chin Ho, and Kono can use their cells and be beltless in their cars with impunity.
That is, while they are on duty, of course.
I’m not sure we all agree with our beltless quartet, but I’m sure we can suspend our disbelief for an hour every Monday to realize that when in pursuit of dangerous criminals, the last thing on our heroes’ minds is a $92 fine for not being safely belted in. We’d like them to think of their health and well-being in case they are in an accident, because we would not want anything to happen to our Five-0 team, but we are always going to be along for the ride. Belted in, or not.
Redux Side Note: It will be a busy Super Bowl weekend for all the Five-0 fans. Sunday is a rebroadcast of the pilot episode and Monday is the brand new episode “E Malama,” where we will finally meet Stan, Rachel’s husband and Danno’s “rival.” Dennis Chun will also be back as Sgt. Duke Lukela. So be there. Aloha.
Wendie Burbridge is a published writer, playwright and a teacher of literature and fiction writing at Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama. She studied Theatre Arts and acted in and directed productions in Spokane, Wash., and also worked in Extras Casting for NBC and Warner Brothers on various television shows and films in the Pacific Northwest.